Legal Missouri 2022 Launches Campaign to Legalize Adult Marijuana in Kansas City – Greenway Magazine

Voter signature collection efforts grow, support grows for Missouri to become 20e State authorizing the use of cannabis by adults

As support for its 2022 Citizen’s Vote initiative grows, the campaign to give Missouri voters the ability to legalize adult marijuana builds its volunteer base while increasing its collection of petition signatures to across the state.

From greater Kansas City and the St. Louis metro to Branson, Joplin, Springfield and other communities spread across the southwestern state, hundreds of trained signature collectors volunteer across Missouri, John said. Payne, campaign manager for Legal Missouri 2022.

“Signature by signature, our coalition of activists, entrepreneurs, cannabis patients and criminal justice reform advocates are hearing the same message from voters in Missouri: It is high time to end the senseless and expensive ban on marijuana, ”he said.

“Criminal justice reform is a centerpiece of our campaign, which aims to give a fresh start to tens of thousands of state residents whose criminal records would be cleared of minor marijuana offenses by automatic de-listing. Added Payne.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow Missourians aged 21 and over to own, consume, purchase and grow marijuana. A 6 percent retail sales tax would generate estimated annual revenues for the state of at least $ 40.8 million and additional local government revenues of at least $ 13.8 million.

This money, in turn, would cover program costs, including write-off, with excess funds earmarked for veterans health care, drug treatment, and the state’s severely underfunded public defender system. .

The automatic deregistration provision does not apply to violent offenders or those whose offenses involved distributing to a minor or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.

He would also not demand that the Missourians ask the court for such a change. Of the 37 states that have legalized medical marijuana and 19 to allow use by adults, only seven have such a process.

“As others have noted, Missouri shouldn’t legalize marijuana without automatically clearing the thousands of criminal records for marijuana-related offenses that will soon be legal,” said Sarah Owsley, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Empower Missouri. “Our organization strongly supports this much needed ballot initiative.”

Payne and Owsley spoke Wednesday afternoon at a Legal Missouri press conference in the Westport neighborhood of Kansas City. They were joined by a local community activist judge gatson, founder of the Reale Justice Network, which also supports the proposed initiative.

“Recent research shows that blacks are 2.6 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession of marijuana in Missouri – even though their national rates of marijuana use are comparable,” she said. “Non-violent marijuana arrests clog prisons, waste taxpayer dollars, and prevent too many people of color from fully pursuing their chances of living the American dream.”

Payne noted the broad support among Missouri voters to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana, according to a new national survey from Rasmussen Reports showing the support of 62% of American adults.

In 2018, Missouri voters overwhelmingly agreed to enshrine the use and sale of medical cannabis in the state constitution. The state’s Department of Health and Seniors’ Services has since issued nearly 160,000 medical cannabis cards to Missouri patients and caregivers, a turnout significantly higher than early estimates.

The state recorded more than $ 160 million in medical cannabis sales from the end of October 2020, when sales began, to October of this year.

The Legal Missouri 2022 initiative also aims to expand participation in the legal cannabis industry by small business owners and among historically disadvantaged populations, including those with limited capital, residents of very poor communities, disabled veterans and those previously convicted of non-violence. marijuana offenses, among other categories.

A new category of small business cannabis licensing would, over time, add a minimum of 144 licensed facilities to the 378 existing licensed and certified cannabis businesses in the state: 18 in each of the eight congressional districts of the state. State, with at least six per district operating as dispensaries and the rest designated as wholesale facilities, a new category that allows operators to both cultivate the plant and manufacture cannabis products. New licensees would be chosen at random, by drawing lots.

A copy of the Legal Missouri 2022 petition can be found here.

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Highlights of the petition:

  • Allows Missourians 21 and over to own, purchase, consume and grow marijuana.
  • Levies 6 percent state taxes on retail sales of marijuana. The new regulatory program funds revenue and automatic write-off treatment costs, with the surplus split evenly between veterans health care, drug treatment and the underfunded public defender system of the Missouri.
  • Allows local governments to assess local sales taxes up to 4 percent.
  • Allows residents of Missouri who have committed non-violent marijuana offenses to automatically clear their criminal records. Most similar programs in other states require those seeking to overturn their convictions to go to court first, which adds time and expense.
  • Violent offenders and those whose offenses involved distributing to a minor or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana would not be eligible for expungement.
  • Allows local communities to opt out of retail sales of adult marijuana through a popular vote.
  • Strengthen Missouri’s medical marijuana program. The petition extends the validity of medical marijuana patient and caregiver ID cards from one to three years while keeping that cost low ($ 25). And the current $ 100 fee for Missourians who choose to grow medical marijuana at home will be cut in half, with the expiration period also being extended from one to three years.
  • Seeks to expand participation in the legal cannabis industry by small business owners and among historically disadvantaged populations, including those with limited capital, residents of very poor communities, veterans with disabilities, and those who have previously been convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses.
  • This new category of operating license holders should meet at least one of the following requirements:

Have a net worth below $ 250,000 and an income below 250% of the federal poverty line for at least 3 of the previous 10 years;

Possess a valid service-related disability card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;

have been arrested, prosecuted or convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense, or be the parent, guardian or spouse of such a person;

Live in a postal code or census tract with high rates of poverty, unemployment and imprisonment for marijuana;

Graduated from an unaccredited school district or lived in a postal code with such a district for at least three of the past five years.

  • Adds at least 144 of these new small businesses to the 378 existing licensed and certified cannabis businesses in the state.

To ensure statewide access, 18 of these new businesses will be added to each of the state’s eight congressional districts over time. At least six of these new businesses in each district are to function as dispensaries.
The rest will be designated as wholesale facilities, a new category that allows operators to both grow the plant
Existing licensees would have the ability to quickly convert their medical-only facilities into businesses serving both medical patients and adult consumers, which would immediately reduce sales in the illicit market.

  • All new licensees will be selected at random, by drawing lots.
  • Adds nurse practitioners to the category of healthcare professionals who can make medical cannabis recommendations to patients.

Paid by Legal Missouri 2022, Paul Bocci, treasurer.


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Julio V. Miller