Marijuana legalization might become a ballot-box issue in Missouri

An activist group has started collecting signatures to make legalization an issue in the November 2020 election

Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

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A marijuana advocacy group in Missouri wants to make legalizing recreational marijuana a ballot-box issue in the November 2020 election, News-Press NOW reports.

The state legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but the activist group Missourians for a New Approach wants to go further. They need 160,199 signatures from registered voters to get the initiative on the ballot.

The campaign manager John Payne said the signatures must be submitted to the secretary of state’s office by May 3. The group will launch a campaign website in the days head.

Medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri through a similar petition drive, which resulted in a constitutional amendment getting on the ballot.

Payne plans to use a mix of paid and volunteer signature collectors and noted that paid collectors actually gathered more signatures than the volunteers for the medical marijuana push.

Local TV station KDSK reports that the petition will call for purchases of marijuana to be subject to a 15% sales tax that fund infrastructure, drug addiction treatment and aiding veterans. Additionally, sales would be restricted to people age 21 and up, local communities could opt-out of retail sales via a public vote and Missourians with pot-related offenses could expunge their criminal records.

Missourians for a New Approach estimates legalizing recreational marijuana could bring the state $93-$155 million annually by 2025, while local governments could get between $17-$27 million annually.

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