Missouri Cannabis Legalization Question Approved for November Ballots

Missouri’s cannabis legalization initiative has been cleared for November ballots.

Full story after the jump.

The campaign seeking to legalize cannabis for adult use in Missouri gathered enough signatures to put the question to voters in November, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced on Wednesday. In a statement, Ashcroft urged voters to “study and educate themselves on any ballot initiative” noting that the adult-use initiative “is particularly lengthy and should be given careful consideration.”  

The official ballot title for the initiative will ask voters: 

  • Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to: 
  • Remove state prohibitions on purchasing, possessing, consuming, using, delivering, manufacturing, and selling marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of twenty-one; 
  • Require a registration card for personal cultivation with prescribed limits; 
  • Allow persons with certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and probation and have records expunged; 
  • Establish a lottery selection process to award licenses and certificates; 
  • Issue equally distributed licenses to each congressional district; and 
  • Impose a six percent tax on the retail price of marijuana to benefit various programs 

State governmental entities estimate initial costs of $3.1 million, 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.  

Alan Zagier of Legal MO 2022, the campaign behind the initiative, told KSDK that the criminal justice provisions in the proposal would “provide a fresh start and wipe the slate clean for really tens of thousands of Missourians who each year find themselves arrested for low-level drug offenses.”

“We’re talking about people who may still be on probation or parole or even had a conviction and did their time and paid their fine but yet it still comes up and is a hindrance in housing or employment,” he said. 

A survey in May found that 62% of Missouri adults supported the reforms. In 2018, 65% of Missouri voters approved the constitutional amendment to legalize medical cannabis.

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