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Missouri Cannabis Legalization Question Approved for Ballots in November

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

By Hunter Dublin | August 15, 2022

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft declared on Wednesday that the campaign to legalize cannabis for adult use has garnered enough signatures to put the matter to voters in November. Ashcroft, in a statement, advised voters to "research and educate themselves on any ballot proposal," stressing that the adult-use measure "is unusually lengthy and should be given great thought."

The initiative's official ballot title will question voters with:

  • Remove state restrictions against adults over the age of twenty-one acquiring, having, consuming, using, distributing, producing, and selling marijuana for personal use.

  • Personal cultivation requires a registration card with set restrictions.

  • Allow individuals convicted of certain marijuana-related nonviolent offenses to seek release from jail, parole, or probation and to have their records wiped.

  • Create a lottery system to grant licenses and certificates.

  • Distribute licenses to each congressional district in an equitable manner; and

  • Impose a 6% tax on marijuana's retail price to help various initiatives.

Initial expenses are estimated to be $3.1 million, with initial revenues of at least $7.9 million, yearly costs of $5.5 million, and annual revenues of at least $40.8 million. Yearly expenses for local governments are anticipated to be at least $35,000, with annual receipts of at least $13.8 million.

According to Alan Zagier of the initiative's campaign, Legal MO 2022, the criminal justice elements in the proposal would "give a fresh start and wipe the slate clean for tens of thousands of Missourians who each year find themselves jailed for low-level drug offenses."

"We're talking about folks who may still be on probation or parole, or who may have had a conviction and served their time and paid their fine, but it still comes up and is a barrier to housing or work," he explained.

Based on a May poll, 62% of Missouri citizens approved the measures. 65% of Missouri voters supported a constitutional amendment to allow medicinal cannabis in 2018.


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