Missouri voters could decide on a state constitutional amendment to legalize and regulate marijuana if supporters of a petition drive gather enough signatures.
Secretary of State Jason Kander approved the last 3 petitions of a 16 part proposal to legalize and tax marijuana in Missouri.
Supporters of legalized marijuana will start polling voters in the next 3 weeks to see which of the 16 petitions Missourians would support. The petitions offer different versions of how much someone can grow and if marijuana related crimes can be cleared from someoneâ??s record.
Show-Me Cannabis Chairman Dan Viets said, â??We can turn this into an asset. We could save a lot of money. Let law enforcement focus on violent crimes and crimes with victims. At the same time, we could create a new revenue stream that would result in a net benefit to the State of Missouri of $150 million each year.â??
If the poll shows a lot of support, the issue could appear on the upcoming November ballot. If the poll does not, Viets said it would likely appear on a ballot in 2016.
Macon resident Roseanne Johnson said, â??I probably will not vote for it. Iâ??ve worked as a school counselor and Iâ??ve seen what drugs do to children. I prefer that they do not have it as readily available as it could be.â??
Columbia resident Patty Luckenotte said, â??I think you could tax it. It would be good thing. Just like cigarettes, tax it.â??
Jefferson City resident Ron Holcombe said, â??It just adds to the problem of drunken driving. Youâ??ve already got a problem with people driving drunk. Why have people driving under the influence of marijuana?â??
Columbia resident Robert Kimball said, â??Just because somebody is convicted of a marijuana charge, doesnâ??t necessarily mean that they are a violent offender. That would be another consideration why I would vote for it.â??
Missouriâ??s law would be similar to the one in Colorado that allows the use, sale and cultivation of marijuana.
Columbia State Representative Chris Kelly filed a bill on Wednesday to legalize and tax marijuana in Missouri. If Kellyâ??s bill becomes law this session, supporters would no longer need their petition on an upcoming ballot.
All 16 petitions require Missouri marijuana users to be 21 years old with limited purchases.