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Missouri cannabis supporters turn attention to recreational use

Marijuana advocates optimistic about legalization measures
Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 19:30:15-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two years after Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a medical marijuana initiative, NORML KC and other cannabis supporters hope to give voters a chance to take it a step farther this November.

Currently, there’s an effort by NORML KC — a local organization that works “to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri,” according to its Facebook page — to mobilize volunteers for a petition drive March 10 in conjunction with the Missouri Presidential Primary that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

“This day will be our best chance to gather a significant amount of the over 160,000 signatures we need before May 3rd to put our adult-use marijuana initiative on the November 2020 ballot,” according to a NORML KC post seeking volunteers.

Missouri Amendment 2, which legalized marijuana with a prescription under a doctor’s care in the state, passed in November 2018 by a nearly 2-to-1 margin with nearly 66% of voters approving the measure.

It imposes a 4% tax on medical marijuana sales with the proceeds funding health and care services for veterans through the Missouri Veterans Commission.

Now, cannabis supporters are hoping to put a new amendment to the state constitution that would include marijuana legalization for recreational use.

It would set the legal age for possession and purchase of up to 1 ounce of marijuana at 21 years old.

It would allow individuals to grow a small amount of marijuana for personal use, subject to certain conditions, but would bar its use in any unlicensed public space.

Driving under the influence of marijuana also would remain illegal.

But the proposed amendment has provisions for overturning marijuana-possession convictions and expunging the records of those with prior convictions.

If approved by voters, the initiative would go into effect Dec. 3, 2020.