Organizers have collected enough valid signatures to place a cannabis legalization question on the general election ballot in Missouri this fall.
Legal Missouri 22, an organization pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state, has collected more than 170,000 signatures in support of legalization — enough to bring the question to a vote, state Republican Attorney General Jay Ashcroft announced last week.
If approved, the state constitutional amendment would allow people over the age of 21 to purchase and grow cannabis for personal consumption. Marijuana sales would be taxed at 6 percent and would be used to fund veterans’ homes, drug treatment programs, and public defenders’ offices across the state.
The measure would also create a program that would automatically erase past non-violent drug convictions for Missouri residents.
The measure comes four years after Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a medical marijuana vote. The new initiative would not undo that amendment, as the current law allows higher doses of cannabis for those seeking treatment from the drug than the recreational limits in the fall initiative proposal would allow.
The 2018 medical provision passed with 66 percent of the vote, although Missouri is considered deeply conservative. (Former President Donald Trump defeated President Joe Biden in Missouri by around 15 points.) It’s likely that the recreational use initiative will pass with similar numbers.