There are numerous states that are likely to see marijuana reform efforts during the 2014 election cycle. A lot of states have actually had some type of signature gathering efforts, or even introduced legislation that went no where, several times before, so a lot of these efforts are not new. However, with Colorado and Washington State ending marijuana prohibition in 2012, the political landscape has changed dramatically. Missouri is a state that I would like to see join Colorado and Washington. I have friends there that have gone through some tough hardships due to the harsh marijuana laws in Missouri. Below is a message from the Show-Me Cannabis Regulation campaign that sheds some light on whether or not 2014 will be the year Missouri ends marijuana prohibition:
Show-Me Cannabis Regulation’s Board of Directors continues to explore the possibility of a 2014 campaign, and we have agreed to take some of the initial steps towards launching such an endeavor. We plan on submitting a number of slightly different initiatives to the Secretary of State in the near future, with the hopes of raising the funds to poll all of them after we receive the official ballot language. If those polls show that there is a strong possibility of victory in 2014, then it increases the possibility that we can raise substantial funds based upon that information, and put it before the voters. If, on the other hand, the polls show that a strong legalization measure will not pass in 2014, we will not invest substantial resources into attempting to qualify a measure for the ballot in 2014. Instead, we would spend 2013 and 2014 working on local reforms in key localities, pressing the legislature for meaningful reforms such as expungement of cannabis offenses, and holding educational events across the state.
If the conditions are right to end cannabis prohibition in 2014, we will be prepared to seize that opportunity. Still, we must recognize what is politically possible at the moment and what is not, so if victory appears unlikely, we will conserve our resources, focus on education and winnable local reforms, and set our sights on 2016. Conventional wisdom says that marijuana reform measures perform substantially better in presidential election years, and that has no doubt been true for many years. On the other hand, support for legalization is growing rapidly and may even accelerate with the victories in Colorado and Washington, so the conventional wisdom may be dead on arrival by 2014. With conditions changing so quickly and dramatically, we believe that the best way forward for the time being is to be prepared both to run in 2014 and to wait until 2016. That way, we will not miss an opportunity to win if it arises, but neither will we expend precious resources on a losing effort if it doesn’t.
We sincerely appreciate our dedicated and hard-working volunteers and supporters. We will continue to consider your input and keep you updated with developments. With such a strong foundation of support, and the continuing education of voters, we are confident that cannabis prohibition’s days are numbered. Thank you all so much, and if you would like to push us a little closer to victory, please consider donating today!