One thing that I have always said about marijuana campaigns is that they need to start as early as possible. The sooner an initiative is submitted, the sooner signatures gathering efforts can be organized, the sooner fundraising can occur, the sooner the campaign can start educating the public, etc. I've seen many efforts throughout the year fail to succeed mainly because they just ran out of time. So it was with great pleasure that I learned that the day after Election Day 2014, an initiative to legalize marijuana was filed in Missouri. Per Show Me Cannabis:
Show-Me Cannabis filed a petition today to amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis. Today marks the first day a petition can be filed for the 2016 election. The petition was filed with the Missouri Secretary of State, and now undergoes a review and public comment period.
Show-Me Cannabis is encouraging individuals to file public comments with the Missouri Secretary of State during the open comment window and to contact Show-Me Cannabis directly with any comments on the petition filed. Show-Me Cannabis may modify and re-file the petition on the basis of feedback received.
"Two more states and the District of Columbia rejected cannabis prohibition at the ballot box yesterday, and we fully intend to join them in 2016, so we are starting this process as early as we possibly can," said Show-Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne. "We still have a long road ahead of us, but we can feel the wind at our backs."
The amendment needs approximately 165,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. If adopted by a majority of voters, it would legalize and regulate cannabis for adults over 21, while also allowing for the distribution of medical cannabis with the recommendation of a physician. The amendment would likely generate tens and possibly hundreds of millions in new tax revenues to be allocated to law enforcement and firefighter pensions, substance abuse programs and underage drug use prevention, elementary, secondary, and higher education programs, veterans' services, and the enforcement of cannabis regulations.
Missouri has a very, very strong campaign team. If just about any other state had a team like they do in Missouri, marijuana would likely already be legal. It's just that Missouri is so far down the reefer madness hole, that it's going to take extra effort there to end marijuana prohibition. But if anyone can do it, it's the Show Me Cannabis team. 2016 is looking very good for Missouri to legalize marijuana, and I'm honored to work with the campaign team to do what I can to help those efforts. If you are able, please donate to the Show Me Cannabis campaign, or volunteer. A win in Missouri would be a win for America! Read the full text of the initiative at this link here.