By John Payne, National Cannabis Coalition and Show Me Cannabis Regulation
The campaign to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis in Missouri’s third-largest city is proceeding well. Sh0w-Me Cannabis Regulation’s Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Money Bomb last week exceeded our $1,000 goal, and we ended up raising nearly $1,500 to support the cause. The National Cannabis Coalition will also be matching those funds by helping us to pay for signatures and promote the campaign.
We currently have nearly 3,000 signatures on hand and plan on turning them in to the city clerk this Friday. At that point, the city clerk will have up to 20 days to verify that at least 2,101 of these signatures are valid, during which time Springfield Cannabis Regulation, SMCR’s local affiliate, may continue to submit signatures. Once the city clerk judges the petition to be sufficient, the measure will be sent to the city council for consideration at their August 13 meeting. The council may either pass the measure without amendment or send it to city’s voters at the general election in November.
In order to ensure that we collect at least 2,101 valid signatures, we plan to collect at least double that many raw signatures. Consequently, we are contracting with a professional signature collection company to gather an additional 800 signatures. If you didn’t get a chance to contribute last week – or even if you did – please consider helping us make the final push to end arrests for possession of small amounts of cannabis in Springfield by making a donation now!
About John Payne
John is the campaign director for Show-Me Cannabis Regulation in Missouri and a member of the National Cannabis Coalition’s board of directors. He first became involved in cannabis law reform when he joined the Students for a Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Washington University in Saint Louis in 2001. After graduating from college, John taught high school social studies before embarking on a career as a writer. He worked for the Show-Me Institute, a think tank that advocates free market policies for the state of Missouri from 2009 to 2011, when he joined Show-Me Cannabis Regulation. His articles have appeared in Young American Revolution, The American Conservative, and Reason Magazine, as well as newspapers across Missouri.
This article was published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition