A Republican Missouri lawmaker is again making a push to place marijuana legalization on the ballot. But some activists aren’t waiting on the legislature to take action to refer the issue to voters, with one campaign officially launching signature gathering on Wednesday for a separate reform initiative.
Rep. Shamed Dogan (R) on Wednesday pre-filed his joint resolution to place a constitutional amendment on legalization on the 2022 ballot. He introduced a similar proposal last year, but it did not advance.
Under the lawmaker’s plan, adults 21 and older could purchase, possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use. It does not specify allowable amounts.
A 12 percent tax would be imposed on adult-use marijuana sales, while medical cannabis products would be subject to a four percent tax. Revenue would go to a new “Smarter and Safer Missouri Fund” to support veterans services, infrastructure programs like expanding broadband access and drug treatment programs.
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The resolution, which also proposes to eliminate and replace the constitutional amendment that established Missouri’s medical cannabis program, states that the reform is in the “interest of the efficient use of law enforcement resources, enhancing revenue for public purposes, and individual freedom.”
Legalization should be enacted so that “legitimate, taxpaying business people, not criminal actors, conduct sales of marijuana,” it continues. “Marijuana sold in this state shall be subject to testing, labeling, and regulation to ensure that consumers are informed and protected.”
If enacted, no police or state funds could be used to assist in the enforcement of federal cannabis prohibition. And the state could no longer allow asset or civil forfeiture for citizens of age who conduct marijuana activities made lawful under the measure.
“Missouri’s law enforcement and its courts shall protect marijuana users and such users’ property without discrimination and with every effort afforded to every citizen of Missouri and our nation,” it continues. There would also be a process to clear the records of people with non-violent marijuana convictions.
Employers would explicitly be allowed to maintain drug-free workplace policies under the measure.
It also says that the “use or possession of marijuana shall in no way impede on a person’s legal right to possess a firearm.”
The resolution also says that the state legalization law “shall supersede any conflicting city, county, or state statutory, local charter, ordinance, or resolution.”
There are some advocates who want to see the legislature take the lead on establishing a regulated marijuana market, but others remain skeptical that will actually happen in the state’s GOP-controlled House and Senate. That’s why there are currently two separate campaigns working to get legalization initiatives on the state’s 2022 ballot.
Legal Missouri 2022 kicked …….