Group In Missouri Looks To Legalize Marijuana
Joe | Jul 09, 2011 | Comments 10
A group in Missouri called “Show-Me Cannabis” has turned in two initiatives to the Secretary of State’s office, both designed to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Both initiatives would regulate marijuana like alcohol, allow farmers to grow hemp and allow for some home growing.
The main difference is that one of the initiatives would amend the Missouri Constitution; that one needs over 160,000 signatures over the next ten months, while the “regular” ballot measure only needs about 100,000 signatures.
Repealing the criminal laws governing marijuana would make Missouri safer, said Amber Langston, campaign director for Show-Me Cannabis. “Frankly, we would like our society to be safer, and having this market in the hands of criminals doesn’t make anybody safer,” she said.
Langston was campaign manager for the successful 2004 city ordinance that called for marijuana possession cases to go to municipal rather than state court and eliminated jail sentences for violations.
After the Secretary of State approves of the ballot language and writes a summary, advocates will have until May 6th of next year to gather the necessary signatures. No decision has been made on which initiative will be circulated, but practicalities almost dictate that it has to be the one that needs less signatures.
An interesting quote came from Mike Fusselman, a Randolph County prosecutor and former head of The Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, on this issue. “I think it is awfully difficult to take marijuana and place it in the same position as alcohol,” he said.
And why is that? Because it’s much safer than alcohol? Because the alcohol companies contribute so much money to political campaigns? Because so many people die from alcohol and no one dies from cannabis?
What a ludicrous statement. I wonder if these people think before they speak. What kind of message is this lawyer sending to children? The message that you should avoid marijuana at all costs, but drinking is very cool in the eyes of the law, so bottom’s up.