missouri marijuana decriminalization hb 512 testimony
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Medical Marijuana Policy

Marijuana Legislation Pending Before The Missouri General Assembly

missouri marijuana decriminalization hb 512 testimonyBy Dan Viets

At this point in the 2015 session of the Missouri General Assembly, bills continue to be filed which relate to cannabis. One of the bills presently filed relating to medical marijuana is House Bill 490 filed by Representative Keith English. This bill would create a comprehensive medical cannabis law.

It would allow cannabis to be dispensed from up to 60 distribution centers throughout the state. Licensed physicians and others who are authorized to prescribe controlled substances would have the authority to recommend cannabis to patients. A system for regulating and registering patients, dispensaries and cultivation centers would be established under this law. The bill contains some restrictions on where cannabis could be used, including not allowing possession or use in automobiles and requiring cannabis in cars to be kept in an official medical cannabis container.

This bill has not yet been assigned to a committee nor set for a hearing. Rep. English recently declared that he is leaving the Democratic Party and has become an Independent. Therefore, his ability to influence the course of events in the legislature may be somewhat limited. We anticipate other medical marijuana legislation will be filed in the not-too-distant future.

House Joint Resolution 15 has been filed by Representative Brandon Ellington of Kansas City, a Democrat and the Chair of the Black Caucus in the Missouri House. Rep. Ellington’s bill would create a system of regulation and taxation of cannabis like alcohol for those over 21 years of age, allowing retailing and cultivation by placing a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November of 2016.

House Bill 358 is nearly identical to Senate Bill 31. Both bills would require that, if a person on probation tests positive for marijuana or other controlled substances or commits any other alleged violation of probation conditions, the probation officer would be required to immediately place that person under arrest. This would be a major infringement on the discretion of probation officers and it would place a far greater financial burden on the state. No fiscal note has yet been produced regarding this bill, but an accurate fiscal note would likely indicate that the cost to taxpayers of this bill would be substantial. We hope it can be stopped.

Senator Robert Schaaf, a physician from St. Joseph, has filed Senate Bill 255 to authorize the agricultural cultivation of low-THC cannabis, referred to in the bill as “hemp”. This bill would authorize farmers in the state of Missouri to once again cultivate a crop which was a major source of revenue in the 1800’s. Missouri was among the very largest hemp-producing states. The difficulty in harvesting hemp, which was an extremely labor-intensive process in the 1800’s, caused hemp to fall into disfavor. However, the development of hemp harvesting machinery has long since overcome that problem. A similar bill will likely be filed in the Missouri House very soon.

There are several bills pending which would establish the ability to expunge marijuana criminal convictions. Those bills include House Bill 166, Senate Bill 100 and Senate Bill 165. However, the bill which is likely to have the best chance of passing has yet to be filed. I worked for several months on a Missouri Bar Committee on expungement which included several prosecutors as well as legislative staff people. The bill which that committee has produced contains compromises, but has the advantage of support from the Missouri Prosecuting Attorneys Association. The Missouri Bar Board of Governors recently recommended the bill for passage, but also recommended a couple of changes in it.

This bill will allow almost all marijuana convictions to be removed from public access and specifically authorizes a defendant who has been found guilty of such offenses and has them sealed to deny that the conviction ever occurred. The primary intention of this legislation is to allow those with marijuana and other non-violent convictions to once again obtain employment. This bill will be filed shortly in the Missouri Senate and probably in the Missouri House as well.

Help make this legislative session successful for cannabis law reformers by contributing to Show-Me Cannabis today!

Source: Show-Me Cannabis

  • Kane

    Its about time Missouri jumps on the band wagon. Too much money to be made and too much money already wasted convicting innocent people.

    • “Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against . . . We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.” – Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum

  • Johnny Bloomington

    I’d be happy if we could at least get decriminalization and grow up to 6 plants!

    • ZEMTEK

      Why settle for 6 plants when you have so much more? Please help us in fighting for what is good for Missouri instead of the rich fat cats. https://www.facebook.com/groups/407826009376872/

      • Johnny Bloomington

        Sure if it’s passable.

        • ZEMTEK

          yep its totally passable. We just need to educate people more. Missouri Cannabis Reform on facebook is now gathering people to sign and help collect signatures for the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act.

        • ZEMTEK

          It passed now to collect signatures for it. Missouri Cannabis Reform on facebook is now collecting volunteers if you would like to help make Missouri a better place.

          • Johnny Bloomington

            I joined.

    • Kane

      I agree Johnny, you can brew your own beer here in Missouri and its no big deal. But if you grow marijuana you get to be put in a cage like a zoo animal. I simply do not understand the reasoning.

      • The enforcers want to keep their jobs. The prisons need prisoners.

        Every tax, every regulation comes with it an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

        No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.

    • Justadad

      I agree 100%

    • Whyiowa4medical

      Just beware of over sprays that have killed off Iowa hemp. This was one of the strains sown by the railroad at the beginning of WWII. It was commonly found near overnight stops where there was a tavern and a hotel for the rail men. They would harvest the stuff for tents, rope, and parachutes and sell it out east. It was such a hardy strain that my father’s every attempt to kill it, even with Roundup, failed. The last time I was near the area I went to an area I set aside to sell to Cali breeders (it was an amazing sativa with up to 18″ flower clusters and it ripened very early) and kept it free from farm chemicals; it seemed to be gone!!! What the hell are they spraying on these GMO’s, I know it’s not Roundup as dad used that with diesel fuel to speed the entry into the plant, but this 50 years standing strain got me any Humboldt county (green triangle) seed I wanted, plus enough cash to pick up a few Oz.’s in ’85. As I do not know of any Iowan who wasn’t tempted to try the stuff at some point, I know it is in the big bud stuff, and the breeds that can cause headaches. When oils were made from it you could “sometimes” get the buzz of old Mexican Highland Grass!!! That was turning a pound or two into Honey oil, yet that damn headache remained!!! Until we know more about what they are using I would set-up shop indoors. The laws are changing at light speed and remember what was said in Missouri about 8 months ago, No pot in Missouri, not ever, no way in hell!!! See what I mean, they can’t ignore the taxes, cartels are going broke, and gangs are pissed. All claims made by the opposition are proven false. If we keep the ball rolling we might be able to legally raise a kit of mushrooms a year!!!

  • theReaL*Lydia85

    Don’t you just love how your human right to use this plant is “passed around legislation” like its their right to tell us it’s ok? F ucking outrageous.

    • Every tax, every regulation comes with it an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

      No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.

  • Mojonana

    They need one bill. You get to many and nothing will be accomplished. That’s why California has just medical not full Legalization.

  • ZEMTEK

    “This bill will allow almost all marijuana convictions to be removed from public access and specifically authorizes a defendant who has been found guilty of such offenses and has them sealed to deny that the conviction ever occurred. The primary intention of this legislation is to allow those with marijuana and other non-violent convictions to once again obtain employment” Why leave anyone behind at all for a plant that is completely non toxic? Missouri deserves a much better bill than what ShowMe Cannabis has came up with. No one period should be jailed over a non toxic plant. Plus SMC wants to tax the hell out of cannabis which all that does is keep the black market and the weed in kids hands. I know a lot of black market dealers that use young teens to sell their product. How about eliminating the black market all together and support the MCRProtection act and actually take cannabis out of the hands of kids and allow adults to conduct legit biz with each other. I know SMC has decided to possibly rewrite their bill and I do hope they take this in consideration. I hope they come out with a revised bill I can support, but I doubt it. SMC seems like all they want to do is serve their rich fund givers. I say its time we return the power to the people. That’s why I have started a facebook group that anyone for or against legalization to join. I have even invited SMC reps to the group and I guess they don’t like questions have refused to join so far. Plus its kind of hard to trust them when they will tell a bold face lie or just really have no idea what is actually in their bill. Aaron himself told me that the SMC bill would free all non violent cannabis crimes, which is a big fat lie since the SMC bill has plant limits and possession limits, anyone that was or is busted for these amounts even if they are non violent would not be released and would go to jail. Lets do the smart thing for MO and support the MCRP. If you would like to learn more about any and all bills for cannabis feel free to join my group even if your against legalization or even for SMC bill. I would love to actually meet people who support the SMC bill instead of the MCRP. https://www.facebook.com/groups/407826009376872/

  • Bird

    sometimes you gotta take what you can get and then come back to the fight later. look at any state that has made real progress. CA legalized medical in 1996 and just thi spast election cycle did anything in San D open up. CO has had some bumps along the way but they are ironing out the wrinkles as they go. all and all I think they have a pretty solid system. the people in the street and in these forums we are creating a multibillion dollar industry in the face of what would seem to be insurmountable head winds. lets get what we can take and take what we can get and then come back and take some more later. nobody said it all has to be done in one cycle.

  • James Evans

    I say god gave me the seed bearing herb and I / we should be able to consume it

    • Kane

      Thats what it says in the Bible on the first page…

  • Whyiowa4medical

    Iowa still hangs on to the hard line. If you do not have a baby with seizures you cannot have Charlotte’s Web, and you have to break federal law to get it even there are those like me right here that could grow the strain and produce the extract. It seems Iowa runs in reverse, we have to answer to Chuckie Grassley and Terry Branstad, not the other way around like things should be. All we get in Iowa doesn’t even help all epileptics (even the very young ones) and it shall be done in legislature where the governor can veto it (which Braindead has promised to do). Nothing on the ballots, no ballot initiatives as it has been promised to be blocked, and a few days ago I said I felt like a Union soldier trapped in Southern Georgia, but that is wrong. I am beginning to feel more like an ISIL captive waiting for the blade with crazy people in charge of if we live or die and I cannot even prove to them how wrong they are!!!