KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri coalition has filed a petition that would legalize marijuana in the state for adults and create an “open market,” arguing that doing so would create jobs and boost the economy.
Fair Access Missouri announced its filing with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday, saying that the coalition has worked “for years to establish open markets and fair rules” for entrepreneurs, patients and consumers.
"Today's filings are the next step in that fight,” Fair Access Missouri said in a statement. “We've seen across the country that smart rules and an open market are the way to go when legalizing cannabis, and that's what we'll be bringing to Missouri."
Fair Access Missouri hopes to revise a state constitutional amendment to “permit state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions,” according to its petition.
Qualifying conditions would include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, “intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment,” post-traumatic stress or “any terminal illness,” among other conditions.
The petition proposes adding a section to a state amendment “to permit the safe and legal use of cannabis” by residents 21 years old or older.
If approved, the amendment would allow eligible residents to possess up to eight ounces of dried, unprocessed flower; up to 28 grams of concentrated resin or extract; and up to 4,000 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in cannabis-infused products.
THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Residents under 21 years old would not be allowed to possess cannabis unless they are a “medical cannabis patient” or primary caregiver to a medical cannabis patient under the proposed law.
Of-age residents also could cultivate “up to 25 square feet of flowering canopy of cannabis for adult use” in any space they own or lease, the petition states, but the area must be secured so that those under 21 years old cannot access it.
Individuals would not be allowed to sell any homegrown cannabis, which must be purchased at a “licensed cultivation, manufacturing or retail facility.”
Other Missouri groups that support recreational marijuana use have attempted to bring the issue to a vote in past elections.
Missourians for a New Approach also urged residents to sign a petition to bring the issue to a vote.
At the time, several law enforcement agencies and groups were opposed to legalization. But Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas unveiled a plan in February 2020 to pardon municipal convictions for marijuana possession.
Fair Access Missouri’s petition, which was filed July 12, is still making its way through the initiative petition process, which could take roughly 65 days.
The coalition has not yet decided if it will attempt to collect signatures to get the issue on an upcoming ballot.