Next Monday, August 27th, the Springfield City Council will vote on an initiative that would reduce marijuana possession in the city from a misdemeanor to an ordinance violation. That would prevent people caught will small amounts of cannabis from being arrested for the offense, eliminate the possibility of jail time and a criminal record, and preserve federal financial aid eligibility for students convicted of the offense.
If you live in Springfield, you can help convince your representatives on the city council to vote for the measure by sending them an email or calling their offices. Even if you do not live in Springfield, you can share this link with people that you know who do! Below you will find each council members’ contact information and a sample letter that you can send to them. Just fill in the name of the council member at the top and your name and address at the bottom. Adding a personal touch to the letter is helpful, but please remember to be respectful. Finally, note that the mayor and the four general members of the council represent all Springfield residents, but four of the members only represent specific zones of the city; you can find out what zone you live in here.
Mayor Bob Stephens: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417.864.1651
General Councilwoman Jan Fisk: email@example.com or 417.864.1651
General Councilman John Rush: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417.864.1651
General Councilman Doug Burlison: email@example.com or 417.865.7175
General Councilman Thomas Bieker: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417.864.1651
Zone 1 Councilman Jeff Seifried: email@example.com
Zone 2 Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417.862.9614
Zone 3 Councilman Jerry Compton: email@example.com or 417.831.0187
Zone 4 Councilman Scott Bailes: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417.864.1651
Template Letter to Council Members:
Dear [City Council Member],
I am writing you today to urge you to vote in favor of the initiative to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis (more commonly known as marijuana). According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were 277 arrests made for possession of marijuana in Springfield in 2011. That is more than the combined number of arrests for murder (4 arrests), rape (4 arrests), robberies (105 arrests), and burglaries (146 arrests), despite the fact that there were 2,450 combined reported incidents of those offenses. The police in Springfield have better things to spend their time on than arresting peaceful people for such a minor offense. Furthermore, passing this measure would ensure that those convicted of simple possession of marijuana will not be forced to live under the cloud of a criminal record, which could prevent them from receiving student financial aid and finding a job or even a place to live. Finally, passing this measure will not increase marijuana use in Springfield. A large study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that “decriminalization had virtually no effect either on the marijuana use or on related attitudes and beliefs about marijuana use among American young people…” The current law is disproportionate both in its punishment to offenders and in the amount of scarce resources law enforcement devotes to it and does little, if anything, to stop marijuana use.
Source: Show Me Cannabis Regulation