Missouri cannabis activists that helped push through an initiative to allow medical marijuana in the state in 2018 are planning another one that would legalize cannabis for all adults in 2022.
The group New Approach Missouri, which worked on the successful medical marijuana campaign, says its proposal, though not completely ready yet, will be gathering signatures soon, with a goal of making the November ballot next year.
John Payne, who worked on the medical marijuana initiative, told the RiverFront Times polling shows “a strong majority that supports legalizing the adult use of marijuana.”
The campaign attempted to get support for a constitutional amendment last year that would treat cannabis like alcohol, but the pandemic stopped all signature-gathering. So the group, which got half of the signatures needed before quitting last year, is back at it again.
There is added pressure on the state after neighboring Illinois passed legalization for adults and is already expected to pass a billion dollars in sales this year.the author writes.
“Based on the polling I’ve seen, I believe that a Missouri cannabis legalization ballot initiative would have a very good chance of success next year,” Matthew Schweich — deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocate organization — said. “Cannabis would already be legal in Missouri were it not for the pandemic, which prevented the 2020 legalization campaign from completing its signature drive and qualifying its initiative for the November ballot.”
Some feel that, because of the extra time, the new measure will be much stronger than earlier efforts. Dan Viets is a Missouri state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He says the expungement provisions, for example, will be much more comprehensive and stronger than earlier versions.
“There are so many important aspects of this initiative that were not in that one two years ago,” he told the River Front Times. “It’s been frustrating how long it’s taken, but I am almost thankful for the delay.”
This piece was originally published by Marijuana Moment and has been edited or modified by The News Station.