COLUMBIA — Multiple pro-marijuana legalization groups in Missouri have filed initiatives to end the prohibition on the plant. Their goal is to get a legalization measure on the 2022 ballot.
The group Fair Access Missouri filed four initiatives, three of which would allow the legal sale of recreational marijuana to anyone over the age of 21, while the fourth would amend the current medical marijuana program.
The measures state the purpose as permitting, “the safe and legal use of cannabis by adults over the age of 21 and to responsibly regulate the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis.” It goes on to say, “The people of Missouri have a right to enjoy the benefits of their labor free from unreasonable regulation.”
Another pro-legalization group, Crossing Paths PAC, whose end goal is synonymous with Fair Access Missouri’s, has expressed that these proposed measures could potentially create a greater burden on law enforcement.
They cited issues with policing personal possession amounts and also the lack of definition in the measures about regulating different forms of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
“Instead of having license caps on dispensaries or people growing for manufacturing and stuff like that, those are lifted, but the caps on how much an individual user can personally own is still there,” said Bharani Kumar of Crossing Paths PAC about the potential issues in the language of the proposed measures. “That’s where the problems arise because it’s still being criminalized for it.”
The issue has been raised in the state legislature. Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, filed a resolution last year in an attempt to gauge interest among voters if they would like the issue on the ballot.
The resolution failed to advance but is likely to be introduced again in the next legislative session.