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A Quick Note On Missouri Marijuana Reform Initiatives

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missouri show me cannabis initiativesBy John Payne

I realize that everyone is very excited about starting a signature gathering campaign immediately, but please remember that we are still not certain about a 2014 campaign. When we were drafting the proposed amendments, the goal was always to have legalization on the ballot by 2016. We hoped it could be done in 2014, but it was always an outside shot.

According to the conventional wisdom, a legalization campaign in an off-year election like 2014, in a conservative-leaning state like Missouri should be doomed to failure. I think that conventional wisdom is wrong, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That is why we need to wait for the polling results, which we should have in the next 15 days, and to formulate our plans around what is politically possible.

I desperately want to win this year, but I also understand that it’s better to take a sure thing in 2016 than gamble and lose in 2014. If we wait for the next election cycle, we can refile an initiative that has already been approved and given satisfactory ballot language by the Secretary of State and on which we will have already conducted polling. Either way, we have positioned ourselves to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri far sooner than almost anyone thought possible until very recently.

I can’t guarantee that legalization will happen this year or in 2016, but I know it’s coming. We are winning, but overplaying our hand would be just as dangerous as losing the momentum.

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17 Comments

  1. Oh, and go the Colorado route, not the Washington route.

    People should be able to grow a number of plants, for their own use, if they wish.

  2. Try it in 2014, if it doesn’t pass, 2015, still didn’t pass? 2016, and so on.

    Till it passes.

    I vote in every election, that includes the mid-terms.

    Prohibition just does not work, our state needs the money, and we need to stop putting non-violent drug offenders in prison, it’s a waste of money.

    Lets get it on!

  3. Veits office is here in Columbia we haven’t seen 1 person with petitions I have friends with shops downtown that are willing to push these yet no one around This needs to be more public! Seems as someone is dragging there feet

  4. Michael Liegh Bays on

    the war on drugs has ruined my life right when it was gettting started this needs to happen this year i am praying for it.

  5. I share your worries, but I don’t realistically see how momentum could weaken. 20 states have medical cannabis, almost 21, at least 10 have medical cannabis on deck this year, including a record number southern states. Colorado’s first week of legalization made national headlines by raking in $5 million, while Michigan state’s medical cannabis program is reporting a budget surplus of $23 million. Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia now have solid majorities in favor of recreational legalization, decriminalization, and medical cannabis. The President finally took off his hypocrite cap and made a frank statement about cannabis being safer than alcohol, publicly, which almost knocked me over. I’ve lost count of how many states are talking full legalization. The polling trends across the country have been steadily moving in the happy direction for at least a decade, and show no signs of reversing.

    But the best news of all is that the opposition is almost negligible due to their inability to control the flow of information. Sure, the NIDA can fund bunk studies and the DEA can continue to act like thugs, but they can’t stop people from talking and they sure can’t unplug the internet. So many people have caught on to the truth about cannabis that there’s no reversing it. All of their propaganda has been so thoroughly defeated that no anti-cannabis lobbying groups or individuals have the chutzpah to debate the issue openly, honestly, or coherently anymore. Prohibitionists are becoming as rare as Big Foot sightings, and about as credible.

    Thanks to the proliferation of information on the internet and mass-telecommunication in general, the old lies don’t work, the new lies don’t stick, and the truth gets repeated often by many. A prohibition built on nonsense propaganda is a house of cards in the Information Age, my friend. Have faith in that.

  6. If it gets on the ballot i will definitely be voting yes! It’s long over due, marijuana prohibition only causes problems and solves nothing. I can’t wait to be able to grow my own herb and smoke it without having to worry about facing harsh consequences upon being caught.

  7. Ok so if we get it on the ballot in 2014 and for some reason it don’t pass but I can’t see that going down , can we still get it on the 2016 ballot ?

  8. Intergalactic Pimp on

    Agreed, Steves. I usually don’t vote during midterms either (I know, shame on me). But if this was on the ballot this year in Missouri you better bet I’d be voting as soon as the doors opened…with bells on my feet, while wearing my Show Me Cannabis shirt.

    I think many of the millennials would do the same. I suspect they feel there is nothing worth voting for in the midterms.

  9. Hmm you put it on the ballet this year it will win with overwhelming results Missouri is ready to do this I guarantee it!!! if it was on the ballot so many young people would go to vote it would be unbelievable!!! IMHO…

  10. My prayer are with you Jimbob. There is no reason to give up on 2014 now. The national polls show that only 24% are against legalization. 55% for. A little advertising to spread the word and its a done deal. Please tell those you know to donate to ShowMeCannabis.com and tell them not to procrastinate.

  11. Stevie makes a great point. Millennial with turn out like never before if they hear that legalization is on the ballot. I say give it all you have in 2014. If you don’t succeed try try again.

  12. The momentum may weaken in 2016. Trying now and failing will have nothing to do with trying again later. Nixon lost before he won.

  13. I find this discouraging, I suffer from chronic pain and have been unemployed for a year because of it. I pray that the polling numbers show that we should move forward with it this year, I cannot wait another two years just to be able to grow my own medication. I do not have the resources to go to the doctor or to even obtain my medication ilegally on the street. I have faith that this will happen this year and I think missouri will make bigger news than colorado as well as set the example for the rest of the country to follow.

  14. Stevie Muggles on

    Voter turnout tends to lag during mid-term elections, especially in the younger demographics. These groups will be key to getting the initiative passed no matter what year. But I is see this is as the very reason 2014 could be as good, if not better than 2016. If this makes the ballot, this has the potential to get young voters to the ballot box in record numbers for a mid-term.

    Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about…

  15. Agreed. If the numbers are not there, don’t risk putting people off by rushing it. Build unwavering solid support before letting go before the people.

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