With Missouri voters set to vote on cannabis legalization in November, independent polling suggests the reforms will pass. Dan Viets, an attorney and executive director of Missouri NORML, told the Columbia Daily Tribune that internal polling data show 62% of Missouri voters back adult-use reforms.
The data is on par with a SurveyUSA poll released in May which found the same level of support for cannabis legalization in the state. That poll found 76% of Democrats supported adult-use legalization, with 14% opposed along with 49% of Republicans (38% opposed) and 66% of independent voters (20% opposed).
“We’re not taking anything for granted, but the data we have certainly indicated we have a good chance of passage. … The national polling shows close to half of Republicans support legalizing marijuana.” — Viets to the Daily Tribune
Viets added that the measure “will likely do better in more educated areas of the state, but support is really broad.”
In Missouri, Viets said, 20,000 people are arrested annually for “usually very small amounts of marijuana” and that, if approved, the measure will “expunge the criminal records of hundreds of thousands of people with marijuana convictions.” The measure includes provisions allowing expungement of low-level, non-violent, cannabis crimes.
In 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union reported that Black people in Missouri are 2.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people.
The language that will appear on ballots along with the question says state governmental entities estimate initial costs of the adult-use program at $3.1 million with initial revenues of at least $7.9 million, annual costs of $5.5 million, and annual revenues of at least $40.8 million. Local governments are estimated to have annual costs of at least $35,000 and annual revenues of at least $13.8 million.
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