Missouri House Committee Hears Marijuana Decriminalization Bill
This was from an e-mail that I received yesterday, so it is a bit dated, but it is still very exciting news! See below:
By John Payne
Thanks to hundreds of constituent phone calls, numerous visits to the state capitol, and persistence on the part of some key legislators, House Bill 512 will get a hearing this session!
Shortly after this message is sent out today (Friday), the Downsizing State Government Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 512, which would decriminalize the possession of under 35 grams of cannabis. Representatives from Show-Me Cannabis Regulation intend to testify at the hearing, including Board Chair and criminal defense attorney Dan Viets, police sergeant and lobbyist Gary Wiegert, and myself.
Unfortunately, Friday is also the last day of the 2013 legislative session, so there is no possibility that the full House of Representatives will vote on the bill this year. However, receiving a hearing lends greater credibility to the bill and will likely make more legislators receptive to the idea next year.
Political progress often feels almost interminably slow, but make no mistake, we are moving steadily forward. We plan to work over the summer and fall to build grassroots support for legislative reforms such as decriminalization, industrial hemp, and medical marijuana. (Our ultimate goal is to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol, but that will require an initiative petition, as the odds that the Missouri legislature will take that step are effectively nil.)
To that end, we would like to organize a number of town hall meetings on the subject that will engage citizens on all sides of this issue along with their legislators. The first such event is scheduled for 6:30 P.M. Monday, June 3 at the Rock Road Branch of the Saint Louis County Library, located at 10267 Saint Charles Rock Road in Saint Ann, 63074. Click here to join the Facebook Event!
So far, the only confirmed speakers are Sgt. Wiegert and myself, but I plan to invite others, including outspoken members of our opposition, so I believe we will have an interesting and informative discussion for all interested parties. I will keep you updated as the event develops.
If you are interested in scheduling a similar event in your area, email me, and I will be happy to guide you through the process. I cannot guarantee that we can arrange speakers for every part of the state, but we want to get the message into as many legislative districts as possible between now and the start of the 2014 legislative session next January.
Of course, hosting these meetings requires money. We need to print fliers and distribute them throughout the community. If the events require travel for speakers, we must reimburse those expenses. And although reserving rooms at local libraries is not particularly expensive, it’s also rarely free. Please contribute now to take our message to those who need to hear it most!