Marijuana legalization efforts come to Missouri
A little over a year ago both Colorado and Washington legalized the use of marijuana. Now, one group is trying to make that happen in Missouri.
"It's an issue that the General Assembly is looking at, there's been bills that have been produced," said Rep. Nate Walker.
Bills for the de-criminalization and medicinal use of marijuana are both up for consideration this legislative session, but the group Show Me Cannabis wants more.
"The main goal is to get the legalization and regulation of cannabis on the ballot and pass it, and I believe we are shooting for 2016 now,â?? said John Payne, the Executive Director for Show Me Cannabis.
And in order for that to happen, they have to win over the voters.
"The polling shows that the more people that know about this issue, the more likely they are to support changing our cannabis laws and regulating and legalizing cannabis and treating it in a manner similar to alcohol. So we want people to become informed on the issue,â?? said Payne.
So they're holding town hall meetings like this, educating voters on the issues they think really matter.
"This isn't about you know Marijuana and whether it's good or bad, it's about a policy that's failed, that isn't actually keeping anyone from using cannabis, but it was wasting a lot of our law enforcement resources that should be put to more important crimes, like violent crime and property crime,â?? said Payne.
Even more, they say a valuable source of economic stimulus is being lost.
"We live in a state where it is still a crime for someone to use marijuana medically and there are people who are having to re-locate to Colorado to get the medicine they need, and that's a terrible shame,â?? said Payne.
So will Missouri make the move to legalize marijuana anytime soon?
"In the end I think what's going on out in Colorado will be a determining factor to how maybe Missouri Voters or Missouri people will determine their position on this issue,â?? said Walker.
Until then, this group is going to continue their discussions around the state, making a push for the ballot in 2016. For more information on their efforts click here.