By Steve Elliott
A Missouri group of marijuana legalization advocates is spending about $40,000 to hire a consulting firm to poll state residents likely to vote in the 2014 election. Show-Me Cannabis Regulation says the results are expected to help the group decide how likely voters would be to pass a constitutional amendment for legalization.
"According to the conventional wisdom, a legalization campaign in an off-year election like 2014, in a conservative-leaning state like Missouri should be doomed to failure," said John Payne, executive director and treasurer of Show-Me Cannabis, reports Laurien Rose at The Missourian. "I think that conventional wisdom is wrong, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
Depending on the results of the polling, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a legalization drive might be delayed until 2016's presidential election, when higher voter turnout is anticipated.
Payne said he hopes the polling will find close to 60 percent of voters support some form of marijuana legalization. He said with 60 percent, even if support decreases, the proposition could still pass, and Show-Me Cannabis would likely begin gathering signatures to qualify for a statewide vote.
By Steve Elliott
A state lawmaker has filed a bill that would legalize and tax marijuana in Missouri, which has some of the harshest pot laws in the nation.
Kelly told The Huffington Post that his experience as a circuit judge changed his position on legalization. "I saw a lot of marijuana cases," he said.
Each county would be allowed to have one retailer per 2,500 residents under the plan. That would give St. Louis County 400 marijuana stores, with 127 in the city of St. Louis itself.
The bill would allow adults to possess and transport a pound of cannabis, a pound of hashish and more than a half-gallon of hash oil.
The language of the measure was lifted from one of 13 petitions filed by Dan Viets, a Columbia-based attorney who serves as chairman of the legalization advocacy group Show-Me Cannabis. To qualify for the ballot, any of those 13 petitions would need almost 158,000 signatures by May 2014.
By Steve Elliott
Supporters of marijuana legalization petitions on Wednesday were cleared by Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander to start gathering signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Kander announced the approval of 13 initiative petitions regarding the use, sale and distribution of cannabis, reports Marie French at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. All of the proposals were filed by Columbia-based attorney Dan Viets, who is chairman of Show-Me Cannabis, a group advocatikng for marijuana legalization and regulation.
"Good people are being treated like criminals," Viets said. "It's the stupidest possible arrangement. We squander millions to enforce an unenforceable law and don't see a penny from the people who are making money selling marijuana."
Viets said that Show-Me Cannabis will now conduct polling to decide which of the 13 initiative petitions to push. A majority of Missourians favor marijuana legalization, according to previous polls, Viets said.
"We're proposing to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol," he said. "If the polling is not promising we might not even put it on the ballot."
Among the differences between the various petitions are the number of cannabis plants adults would be allowed to grow for personal use, and whether expunging marijuana-related crimes from a person's criminal record is included in legalization.
By Steve Elliott
A Missouri Drug Task Force cop who debated marijuana legalization advocates from the group Show-Me Cannabis at a town hall meeting apparently got butt-hurt during the debate because some people disagreed with his point of view.
When he got safely home at his computer and away from "those people," he posted a rant on Facebook in which he "basically call[ed] the legalization advocates a bunch of stupid potheads," reports Ray Downs at the St. Louis Riverfront Times.
Seemingly upset that these folks dared to hold an opinion different than his when it comes to cannabis, the petulant policeman, Sgt. Kevin Glaser of the SEMO Drug Task Force -- who evidently is having some real difficulty adjusting to the realities of modern America -- got home and really gave those weed-suckers a piece of his mind.
"It was held at the Cape Girardeau Library," Sgt. Glaser posted. "This was a good location because it afforded many in the group an opportunity to actually visit a library, probably for the first time in their life." But wait, he really got going, after that.
"My views and opinions were not well received and they appeared to have very closed minds towards what i had to say," Sgt. Glaser posted (you'll have to imagine him sniffling to himself indignantly as he furiously typed). "Many impressed me as having no minds at all. Or at least very slow functioning minds."