Missouri voters pass Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Forget red or blue, Missouri went green Tuesday night as voters endorsed legalizing medical marijuana.

Voters had three initiatives — two state constitutional amendments and Proposition C — on the ballot, but only Missouri Amendment 2 passed.

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That should make things easier on state lawmakers, who won’t have to wait on the courts to weigh in since Missouri Amendment 3 and Prop C were voted down.

Amendment 2 outlines the regulatory framework for the licensing by medical providers and certification of marijuana suppliers, including growing operations.

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It imposes a 4-percent sales tax levied on medical marijuana purchases, which is expected to generate $18 million for veterans programs and to cover state operating costs and $6 million for local governments through taxes and fees.

Revenue raised from the new measure, which was supported by New Approach Missouri, will be used to heath and care services for military veterans through the Missouri Veterans Commission.

The program is expected to cost $7 million, according the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.

The decision by voters to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes when recommended by a doctor puts Missouri in the national majority as 31 states and the District of Columbia already had legalized cannabis in some form prior to Tuesday’s election.

Marijuana remains illegal in all forms — including oils and topical applications in addition to the smokable variety — under federal law.

Amendment 3, which was backed by Springfield attorney and doctor Brad Bradshaw, would have taxed medical marijuana at 15 percent with the funds going to cancer research.

Proposition C, which was supported by Missourians for Patient Care, would impose a 2-percent sales tax with the proceeds going to veterans programs, drug treatment, early childhood education and public safety initiatives.

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