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Missouri Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Initiative (2012)

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The Missouri Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Initiative did not appear on the November 2012 ballot in the state of Missouri as either an initiated constitutional amendment or initiated state statute. A total of two initiative versions have been filed.[1]

The proposed measure would have decriminalized marijuana use, possession and small-scale cultivation by those age 21 and older. Additionally, it would require retail licenses to sell marijuana and oversee a medical marijuana program. Licenses would be issued by the state.[2]

The proposed initiatives were filed with the Missouri Secretary of State on July 6, 2011 and were approved for circulation on November 7, 2011.[3] It is sponsored by Show-Me Cannabis.[4] According to news reports, the petition was submitted by Columbia attorney Dan Viets. He is a also a Missouri state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).[5]

Text of measure

Initiated constitutional amendment

The ballot title for the petition reads:[3]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
  • legalize cannabis (commonly known as marijuana) for individuals 21 years or older;
  • make medical cannabis available to individuals with a physician’s recommendation including those under 21 with parental or legal guardian consent and physician supervision;
  • create licensing processes for operation of cannabis establishments;
  • release individuals incarcerated or on probation or parole for non-violent, cannabis-only offenses which would no longer be illegal and expunge all records related to such offenses; and
  • allow the legislature to enact a tax on the retail sale of dried cannabis up to $100 per pound?


Annual state government operating costs would increase by at least $1 million with the total increase being unknown. Those costs would be offset by an unknown increase in fee and tax revenues. The fiscal impact to local governmental entities is unknown with some increase in revenue possible.

Initiated state statute

The ballot title for the petition reads:[3]

Shall Missouri law be amended to:
  • legalize cannabis (commonly known as marijuana) for individuals 21 years or older;
  • make medical cannabis available to individuals with a physician’s recommendation including those under 21 with parental or legal guardian consent and physician supervision;
  • create licensing processes for operation of cannabis establishments;
  • release individuals incarcerated or on probation or parole for non-violent, cannabis-only offenses which would no longer be illegal and expunge all records related to such offenses; and
  • allow the legislature to enact a tax on the retail sale of dried cannabis up to $100 per pound?


Annual state government operating costs would increase by at least $1 million with the total increase being unknown. Those costs would be offset by an unknown increase in fee and tax revenues. The fiscal impact to local governmental entities is unknown with some increase in revenue possible.

Support

  • The measure was sponsored by Show-Me Cannabis.
  • Columbia attorney Dan Viets, the Missouri coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws stated: "If people are allowed to grow their own and share with their friends just like people grow their tomatoes and share, then we really don’t need marijuana retail stores."[6]

Opposition

The Missouri Narcotics Officers Association has vowed to fight the effort.[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Missouri signature requirements

To qualify for the ballot, the initiative required signatures from registered voters equal to 5% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts. Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot were due to the secretary of state’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot are due to the secretary of state’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012. However the group behind the initiative only collected around a third of the 144000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the ballot.

See also

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References