Missouri voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 3, a ballot measure legalizing adult possession, cultivation, and licensed retail sale of marijuana. The vote marks the first time that Midwestern voters have ever approved a statewide initiative legalizing Cannabis, reports NORML.
“Missourians have clearly demonstrated that support for ending prohibition isn’t relegated to the coasts or deep blue states,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. ”It is a common sense position that resonates with all Americans. Missouri voters rejected the failed ideas of the past and elected to chart a new path.”
“This is truly a historic occasion,” agreed Dan Viets, co-author of Amendment 3, Missouri NORML Coordinator. (Viets also serves as Chair of the Amendment 3 Advisory Board.)“This means that the great majority of the 20,000 people who have been arrested year after year in Missouri will no longer be subject to criminal prosecution.”
“This Is How We Build Cannabis Champions In Congress”
“A growing number of voters recognize that cannabis policy reform is in the best interest of public health and safety, criminal justice reform, social equity, and personal freedom,” said Toi Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project. “State-level legalization victories are what’s necessary to move the needle forward at the federal level. That is how we build cannabis champions in Congress who are committed to taking meaningful action to put an end to prohibition once and for all.”
This marks the sixth consecutive election in which voters in multiple states approved marijuana reform at the ballot box. Heading into Election Day, 19 states had legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over. Now, there are 21 green states in the USA.
In addition to Maryland and Missouri, there were initiatives to legalize cannabis for adults in three other states. The AP has called defeats in Arkansas and North Dakota and it appears unlikely the South Dakota measure will pass.
3 Ounces, 6 Flowering Plants, 6 Immature Plants, Six Plants Under 14”
The Missouri measure allows adults to possess up to three ounces of marijuana. Adults can home-cultivate up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six plants under 14 inches for personal use.
It also establishes a program to automatically review and expunge criminal records for eligible non-violent Cannabis-related offenses. The measure seeks to broaden participation in the licensed cannabis marketplace by including small business owners and those representing disadvantaged populations. This includes those with limited capital, residents of high-poverty communities, service-disabled veterans, and those previously convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses.
Additionally, the initiative makes some improvements to the state’s existing medical marijuana access program.
Campaign proponents had to fend off various frivolous, last minute legal challenges from opponents. The weed-haters tried to have the measure removed from the ballot because of alleged technicalities.
In recent years, in the face of overwhelming popular support, marijuana opponents have frequently turned to legal challenges in their efforts to either overturn election results. They also try to prevent voters from even being able to decide for themselves on Cannabis legalization questions, according to NORML.