Petition Released for Vote on Legal Marijuana in Missouri

Petition Released for Vote on Legal Marijuana in Missouri

On Saturday Missouri Secretary of State, Jason Kander, announced that an initiative petition to legalize the use, sale and distribution of marijuana and hemp has met the state’s standards for circulation.

This initiative would amend the Missouri constitution to include all of the following:

  • Allow for the production, sale, distribution and consumption of cannabis products, including hemp, by persons at least 21 years old
  • Permit the state to establish a tax system and authorize regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana
  • Change criminal provisions for marijuana offenses, and allow individuals who have certain marijuana-related offenses to apply to have them expunged
  • Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes

The State expects approximately a cost of about $1 million to establish the program, and an annual operating expense of $4.9 million is anticipated. It has been suggested that potential savings in operating costs of the criminal justice system may balance this out.

Most information coming from the state at this point is vague, as annual revenues exceeding $75 million have also been reported.

The bill was submitted by Dan Viets of Show-Me Cannabis, a long time cannabis advocate and lawyer in Colombia, Missouri.

Before the the initiative can be placed on the 2016 ballot, signatures must be gathered from a number of registered voters that is equal to eight percent or more of the total votes. The petition must contain signatures from at least six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Show-Me Cannabis estimates this is roughly 167,000 signatures. The group has 16 months to gather the signatures.

The completed petition must be turned into the Missouri Secretary of State’s office by May 8, 2016 at 5 p.m.

Missouri state law instructs that ballot language must first be approved by both the secretary of state and attorney general. After thorough examination, the secretary of state must submit a summary in 100 words or less while the state auditor prepares a government revenue impact summary. Both of those summaries are then submitted to the attorney general for final approval.

MISSOURI MAY HAVE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ON 2016 BALLOT

MISSOURI MAY HAVE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ON 2016 BALLOT

The cannabis law reform movement has officially exploded into the United States with measures recently being approved by voters in Oregon, Alaska, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of Guam. Marijuana advocacy campaigns in many states have declared intentions to seek legalization through voter ballot initiatives during the presidential election in 2016. Now, Missouri has joined that list of legal marijuana hopefuls.

Last week, Show-Me Cannabis, an advocacy group in Missouri, reportedly filed a petition with the Missouri Secretary of State, which had to contain 165,000 signatures supporting a legalization amendment being placed on the state-wide ballot in November 2016. Now, the Show-Me Cannabis organization and effort supporters must wait while the petition is reviewed and verified.

The proposed ballot amendment would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults aged twenty-one years and older. This measure also includes the development of a medical marijuana program.

Voters who may not be sold on the idea of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, may be able to see the upside to the tax revenue and job creation that this industry would bring to the state. For example, in September 2014, the state of Colorado reportedly collected $6,664,654 in marijuana tax revenue, and in May of 2014, the industry had already created ten thousand new jobs in the state. Very few people disagree with creating jobs and stimulating an increase in state tax revenue.


photo credit: prensa420

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']