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Some cannabis advocates not on board with Amendment 3: Legal Missouri 2022

Posted at 9:01 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 23:13:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri voters will decide whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in November.

This comes after Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's office announced Tuesday a petition seeking to expand marijuana use and expunge cannabis-related criminal records was deemed sufficient.

Some advocates that spoke with KSHB 41 about Legal Missouri 2022 say it's a step forward, but also a step back, saying the amendments wording isn't doing enough.

"In this Legal MO — it's prohibition 2.0, it's putting people back into jail, it's re-criminalizing it, it's not helping out our communities," Chris Smith, co-founder of Canna Convict Project, said.

The proposed constitutional amendment will be listed on the ballot as Amendment 3 and if passed, would allow for the possession, consumption, purchase and cultivation of marijuana for Missourians 21 and older.

If passed, voters could possess up to three ounces of flower, the most common form of marijuana.

Amendment 3 would also expunge records for people with non-violent cannabis offenses, unless the offenses involved distributing marijuana to a minor or driving under the influence.

"I would want non-violent cannabis offenders, all of them to be released. Period. End of story," Timothy Gilio, Missouri Marijuana Legalization Movement, said.

Gilio told KSHB 41 his concern is if the amendment is passed, that it will be very difficult to change in the future.

"It can be changed, but it's going to be very, very hard, so the people who put this in place, will have full control over whether something changes again," Gilio said.

The Missouri Secretary of State's office determined the citizen initiative petition from the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign contained over 214,000 signatures, surpassing the nearly 185,000 needed to land it on the ballot.

"To say that Missouri is legalizing cannabis, we're not legalizing cannabis at all," Smith said.

Legal Missouri 2022 will impose a 6% state sales tax on cannabis that will fund veteran's healthcare, expungements and the public defender system.