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Support grows to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri

Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 10, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment Two, which legalized medical marijuana in the state, there has been a push to also legalize recreational, "adult-use" marijuana.

"Voters have really come a long way on this issue. I think the more states they've seen pass medical or recreational has just moved people really far and fast on this issue," said Erin Schrimpf, spokesperson for Missourians for a New Approach.

RELATED: Missouri cannabis supporters turn attention to recreational use

Missourians for a New Approach is behind a petition to amend the state's constitution and remove state prohibitions on personal use and possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by anyone 21 years old or older.

In order to get the issue on the ballot, the group needs to collect about 160,000 signatures from registered Missouri voters. The group, according to Schrimpf, is more than one-third of the way there.

"There's a strong support for this," she said. "There is strong support out there to be responsible and regulate marijuana."

But not everyone agrees. Several law enforcement agencies and law enforcement groups have rejected the idea of marijuana legalization.

Nevertheless, in Kansas City, voters lowered penalties for municipal marijuana possession. Last month, Mayor Quinton Lucas announced a plan to pardon municipal convictions.

“I want to empower people to be able to find work, take care of their families, make a decent living," Lucas said during his 2020 State of the City address, "and every day we will find ways to make their effort to do that in Kansas City just a little bit easier. This is but one step," he said during his 2020 State of the City address.