Activists Urge Missouri Lawmakers to Pre-Empt Cannabis Ballot Campaign

Activists Urge Missouri Lawmakers to Pre-Empt Cannabis Ballot Campaign
High Times

Supporters of a Republican-backed bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Missouri gathered at the state capitol in Jefferson City on Tuesday in an attempt to head off momentum for a ballot initiative that would also seek to end the prohibition on pot. They would prefer to see things done via legislation.  The bill, known as the Cannabis Freedom Act, was introduced last month by GOP state House Representative Ron Hicks. If it were to become law, the bill in question would legalize marijuana use for adults aged 21 and older while also establishing a regulated cannabis market in the state. It would also expunge some previous cannabis convictions for certain offenders.  “The Cannabis Freedom Act is the product of input from many different stakeholders including members of law enforcement and those who have endured incarceration for conduct that society now deems acceptable,” Hicks said in an interview after introducing the bill. “I am particularly grateful for input from Oklahoma State Representative Scott Fetgatter for his assistance in creating a free market program that is also strictly regulated.” On Tuesday in Jefferson City, supporters of Hicks’ proposal like Christina Thompson, a cannabis reform activist in the state, pitted the bill against a campaign called Legal Missouri, which aims to get an initiative on the state ballot this year to legalize recreational pot. The group must collect roughly 170,000 valid signatures in order for the initiative to qualify for the ballot this election cycle.  As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the initiative would “give current medical marijuana businesses the first shot at full recreational sales and keep in place the state’s ability to limit licenses.” “This initiative (Legal Missouri 2022) eliminates nearly all competition through constitutionally protected license caps,” said Thompson, as quoted by the Post-Dispatch. “Recreational licenses created under the…

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Source : Activists Urge Missouri Lawmakers to Pre-Empt Cannabis Ballot Campaign

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