One of three medical marijuana legalization initiatives on the Missouri ballot passed on Tuesday, while two other competing initiatives have failed.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the initiative, Amendment 2, was approved 66-34 percent.
The fight to legalize in Missouri was complicated this year after multiple initiatives qualified for the ballot: one proposed statutory change and two constitutional amendments.
Amendment 2, backed by New Approach Missouri, was favored by national advocacy groups such as MPP and NORML. The measure allows physicians to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they see fit.
“Thanks to the unflagging efforts of patients and advocates, Missourians who could benefit from medical marijuana will soon be able to use it without fear of being treated like criminals,” Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement to Marijuana Moment. “We hope lawmakers will implement the measure efficiently and effectively to ensure qualified patients can gain access to their medicine as soon as possible.”
Under the measure, patients and registered caregivers would be allowed to grow up to six plants and purchase up to four ounces of marijuana from a dispensary per month. Sales would be taxed at four percent.
The other measures on the ballot also generally would have provided protections for cannabis patients and establish legal systems for patients to obtain marijuana from dispensaries. But there were significant differences when it came to taxation for each measure.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the latest election results information.
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See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Missouri Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Measure
New quarterly campaign finance documents from Missouri medical marijuana ballot committees, covering activity from July 1 to September 30, show some coalescing of support for one of three measures on the ballot, while a recently created committee that opposes all of the medical cannabis options has yet to report any financial support.
Here’s what the fundraising and expenditures for the key committees behind each of the three proposed measures look like:
(Note: only those committees with major activity in Q3 are displayed)
Missouri has one of the most confusing sets of marijuana ballot options to ever go before voters in any state, with two proposed constitutional amendments and one proposed statutory measure to choose from. Each option was sponsored by a separate committee that actively attacked the others in the months leading up to qualifying this summer to get on the ballot, with hostile campaign tactics continuing since then—including lawsuits and opposition research into the personal finances of advocates.
In the last few months, two additional organizations entered the fray. One is the only ballot committee that opposes both of the amendments and the proposition. Citizens for SAFE Medicine registered on September 20, and did not report any financial contributions or expenditures on its October 15 report. Judy Brooks, listed as Treasurer of the organization, is also a founder of Jefferson City’s Council For Drug Free Youth.
The other is “Patients Against Bradshaw Amendment Formally Known As Find The Cures Political Action Committee.” The committee, which registered August 27, opposes Amendment 3 and supports Amendment 2. It raised $1,441 cash from five donors, and has spent $447 of that on campaigning.
Its verbose name is a reference to Dr. Brad Bradshaw, the main financial contributor to Find the Cures, a committee that registered in September 2015 to support the measure now designated as Amendment 3. Between October 2017 and June 2018, he provided loans to Find the Cures to the tune of $1.2 million. The committee spent over $800,000 of that to hire a signature collection firm to get on the ballot.
Bradshaw’s measure would, among other things, create a research center that many suspect he intends to run himself. It had already come under fire from Missouri NORML, which backs New Approach Missouri and its preferred proposal, Amendment 2. Find the Cures had already raised $1,556,705 in the first half of 2018 (much of that in the loans from Bradshaw), but started the most recent quarter with just $79 in the bank. From July through September, the committee took in another $209,111, with $186,121 of that in the form of additional loans from Bradshaw. It spent $164,739 on advertising and campaign staff, leaving $44,451 cash on hand for the remaining weeks before the election.
Under Amendment 2, doctors would be allowed to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they feel it is needed. Registered patients and caregivers would be permitted to grow up to six marijuana plants and purchase up to four ounces from dispensaries per month. Medical cannabis sales at dispensaries would be taxed at four percent. As previously reported by Marijuana Moment, the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP, Freedom Incorporated and the St. Louis American newspaper support Amendment 2. It also recently garnered an endorsement from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
New Approach Missouri was the most active committee in terms of continuing to raise and spend funds in quarter three of 2018. The group, which had already raised $1,057,263 for the election, took in another $256,924 cash and $15,368 worth of in-kind contributions. They spent $229,122 in the quarter, for events, legal fees, database management, media creation and public affairs in support of Amendment 2. One employee has been paid a total of $116,180 over the course of the campaign. They had $39,878 in the bank at the end of September.
Long-time political action committee Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, which has been around for seven years, had little activity last quarter, bringing in $350 and spending $72, leaving $2,250 on hand. It has however seemingly thrown its support behind New Approach Missouri, providing $5,000 in in-kind support to the committee.
Here’s a chart using a logarithmic scale that includes more of the committees, even those with relatively paltry finances:
(Note: scale is logarithmic in order to depict smaller committees)
Missourians for Patient Care, which supports Proposition C, had little money activity in the most recent reporting period, suggesting that it is perhaps stepping back from active campaigning at this point. The group had raised a whopping $1,393,360 in 2018, but had only $31,077 left on hand at the beginning of July. In the last three months, it brought in $115 and reported no expenses.
One additional committee that formed, “Missouri Medical Marijuana,” that supported “medical marijuana measure,” has terminated its operations.
On Election Day, we will see whether the millions of dollars spent result in Missouri voters enacting one of more of the cannabis ballot proposals.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
The organization, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P), will be announcing election results in real time today, according to Johnny Green with The Weed Blog. He received a message from his friends at the organization stating that L.E.A.P will announce updates throughout the day.
Included in the election day coverage will, of course, be the measures legalizing marijuana in Alaska, Oregon, and District of Columbia. Attention will also be focused on Amendment 2 for legal medical marijuana in Florida, and Proposition 47 in California, which would remove the charge for minor drug possession from the list of felony charges. The organization will be providing real time updates on their blog and Twitter, as well as sending press releases soon after all votes are counted and final. Members of L.E.A.P will also be available to comment on the results.
This evening (afternoon on the West Coast), Norm Stamper, member of L.E.A.P, will be hosting an open-to-the-public discussion through Reddit IAMA at 7:00pm ET. Reddit IAMA, standing for “ask me anything,” is a place for a person to write the information they want to share, and then answer questions asked by participants. Stamper’s purpose is to explain why he supports legalizing marijuana as well as to go over details of the current marijuana policy reform measures and why they are important. Stamper, a retired police chief from Seattle, has seen the benefits that come from marijuana legalization, and has spent the last week travelling to different parts of Alaska sharing his experiences, educating voters and supporting the legalization effort in the state.
photo credit: ©HTO3
People passing by Spa Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida caught a sneak peak at the filming for what will be a public service announcement encouraging voters to approve Amendment 2, the bill that legalizes medical marijuana for Floridians suffering from severe medical conditions.
The flashing was organized by a woman named Diane Matteson who has dedicated much of her time in the last ten years to researching marijuana therapy, treatments, and the plant’s healing relationship with cancer. As a result of all of her studying, she is an advocate for the medicinal uses of marijuana.
A drone video taped the event from start to finish. To prepare, these ladies assisted one another in taping bumper stickers to their breasts that scream the slogan “Vote Yes on 2 Nov 4!” Once ready, in an organized fashion, the ladies counted down until removing their tops while loudly shouting the bumper sticker slogan in unison.
This event was also used as a tool to spark the topic of medical marijuana and Amendment 2 for Floridians to ponder and discuss. These women all have personal experiences with cancer and cannabis, and they believe so strongly in the cause that they were willing to bare it all to America just to raise awareness.
Below, are more photos taken during the flashing:
photo credit: Melanie Michael, WTSP 10 News
There has been a lot of hysteria lately concerning Florida’s Amendment 2 which would legalize medicinal marijuana for Floridians. Critics, opponents, and multiple news outlets have recently cited polls showing a lack of support for the medical marijuana amendment, but how credible is this polling data?
The highly cited Gravis Marketing says that support for the bill is only at 50% but some say the company has a questionable history. The Democratic Underground had this to say about Gravis Marketing:
“Ultimately, we believe that Gravis Marketing is the last of a long line of shady enterprises pursued by Doug Kaplan and a merry band of small-time hustlers, a band marked by the sketchy personal pasts of its individual members and a constant pursuit of the fast, and almost invariably, dishonest buck.”
One might also question who incentivized Gravis Marketing to conduct these polls. After all, nobody works for free and their advertising slogan reads, “Giving you the campaign responses and results you want.” With millions of dollars flowing in to the state from anti-marijuana billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the poll results can most certainly be bought.
Aside from over-citing a less than reputable polling firm, a closer look at the numbers shows that support for medical marijuana is polling more strongly than opponents would like to suggest.
The vote needs 60% approval by Floridians for the constitutional amendment to take place. We looked at a collection of 16 polls pertaining to the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida conducted over the last 12 months. Aggregate polling data shows that 69% of Floridians support the initiative while only 24% oppose it. Just over 6% of voters remain undecided.
Headlines stating that “Amendment 2 Is Done” are overstating the implications of each new poll. A look at the aggregate data from the last two months alone reveals that likely voters are supporting the amendment 72% to 25%. Averaging the poll results without weighting numbers based on sample size does not add up, even though some people want you to believe it does.
Whether Amendment 2 passes in Florida will be determined after November 4. In the meantime, do not believe the media hype that the bill has been defeated just yet. There are many tools for opponents of marijuana policy reform to use in order to discourage supporters of the amendment, and fooling them into thinking their votes will not count next week, is at the top of the list.
Photo Credit: commondreams.org