This week, Missourians learned a constitutional amendment that would legalize the use of recreational marijuana for anyone over 21 will appear on a statewide ballot later this fall. Almost immediately, and on cue, opponents of the proposed referendum went on the offensive, including at least one GOP lawmaker.
“All we’re doing is creating new criminal penalties for marijuana,” state Rep. Ron Hicks, a Republican from Defiance, told the NPR affiliate in St. Louis, adding that the amendment would lead to a monopoly in the marijuana industry.
Before we make hasty judgments, let’s give the public a chance to dig a little deeper into the 38-page initiative. Given their chance to seriously deal with this question, the state’s lawmakers have punted time and again.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced Tuesday that the petition by Legal Missouri 22 to legalize recreational pot had gained enough signatures for a statewide vote. The measure, which would legalize recreational pot use for adults ages 21 and older, will appear as Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The initiative includes measures that could do a lot of good, primarily by ending the wasteful prosecution of minor possession offenses. Those already convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses could get their record expunged. And anyone of legal age could buy and grow the drug with certain restrictions.[ Read more at The Kansas City Star]