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Advocates Begin Gathering Signatures To Bring Marijuana Legalization To Missouri

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Show-Me Cannabis

Image Credit:Show-Me Cannabis

By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

A petition now circulating in Missouri would place a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot to legalize marijuana for people 21 and older.

The “Show-Me Cannabis Initiative” calls for a repeal of marijuana prohibition in the state, reports Kevin Murphy at the South County Times.

The measure would regulate cannabis similarly to the way Missouri currently regulates alcohol. Marijuana would be legal and sold by licensed stores, or could be grown at home for personal use. Medical marijuana would be available to those with a physician’s recommendation, including those under 21 with parental consent and a doctor’s supervision.

Retail sales of cannabis would be taxed by the state at up to $100 a pound.

?The petition, which was approved by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan on November 7 for circulation, requires the release of those jailed for nonviolent, cannabis-only offenses, and would expunge all records related to such offenses.

The measure would also legalize the cultivation of low-potency, non-marijuana varieties of hemp, allowing for the return of a hemp industry that flourished up until World War II ended.

The petition was submitted by Columbia attorney Dan Viets, Missouri state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Viets is a longtime advocate for drug law reform, both in Missouri and on the federal level.

“We are now closer than we’ve ever been to repealing the criminal prohibition of marijuana,” Viets said.

Prevailing attitudes about cannabis are changing dramatically, according to Viets. He pointed to a recent Gallup poll that shows, for the first time in U.S. history, that 50 percent of Americans favor pot legalization, with only 46 percent opposed.

Just five years ago, 60 percent of U.S. citizens opposed marijuana legalization, with only 36 percent in support, Gallup reported.

“The greatest support is still among the youngest groups, with the lowest level of support coming from among the older folks,” Viets said. “The simple fact of the situation is that demographics are changing. Dramatic increases in support will continue in the years to come.”

“We are squandering massive amounts of tax money on police, and on prosecution and prison for people who don’t need to be treated like criminals,” Viets said.

About 150,000 signatures are needed on the initiative petitions, due in the Secretary of State’s office by May 6, 2012.

Even if the signatures are gathered, and voters approve the measure in November 2012, the federal prohibition against marijuana will continue. Viets conceded that marijuana sales in Missouri could be subject to federal prosecution since the federal government collects taxes on retail sales.

But he predicts that the federal government would do little to stop marijuana law reform at the state level.

“We don’t have to sign on to the federal government’s prohibition against marijuana,” Viets said. “If the federal government wants to march in and round up marijuana smokers, they could, but they won’t.”

Viets also predicted that the Missouri Legislature would not support marijuana legalization — but lawmakers cannot pass legislation repealing a constitutional amendment approved by the voters.

Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.

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7 Comments

  1. Where due I get the petition forms ? I have downloaded and printed forms to make me a petioner, but I can’t find out where the forms are. I’ve watched the 2 videos plus the general one. Please advise. Leave message on my answering machine 660-385-6922, or email me.

  2. We need petitions in Phelps, Crawford, Dent, just to name a few close counties that need the petitions. There would already be 150,000 signatures if we could just get the petitions in all counties. All the talk but only one town (Sedalia) listed as having a petition were a person can sign it , like yesterday!

  3. Where is the petition at and how do I get everybody to sign I have an army of people that will sign!

  4. Short URL: http://wh.gov/jd6
    We petition the obama administration to:
    Reconsider all petitions on cannabis without input from the ONDCP because they are required to oppose legalization.

    According to Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998:
    Responsibilities: The Director “Drug Czar” (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds . . . study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that– (A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and (B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

    Therefore the office of the ONDCP is not reliable. Science has shown it to be less harmful than alcohol and for many a safe medicine.

    We appreciate any help recruiting signature by emailing this to your friendlies, posting on facebook, twitter, etc.

  5. As a benchwarmer in the pot wars I applaude Missouri. Reasoning, logic, facts, science and history all tell us that marijuana’s reputation is largely fabricated. Big business, racism and greed all combined to create another stab at prohibition. Here is the racism factor:

    There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
    ~ Harry Anslinger,
    U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics,
    testifying to Congress on why marijuana should be made illegal
    (Marijuana Tax Act, signed Aug. 2, 1937; effective Oct. 1, 1937.)

    Should we be ashamed? Should we right the wrong? Should we tell Big booze to take a hike? How about Big Pharma? Big Tobacco? What do our children (who know the government has lied about pot) think? Have they also lied about cocaine or heroin? Hard to tell when a cronic liar is telling the truth.

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