I received this e-mail on Friday, but alas, the grind was just too harsh to get it posted before now:
Today, Maranda Reynolds of Springfield Cannabis Regulation — Show-Me Cannabis Regulations’ local affiliate — turned in nearly 2,600 signatures from Springfield residents on a petition to the city clerk to remove criminal penalties for the possession of under 35 grams of cannabis in the city. The city clerk now has 20 days to verify that at least 2,101 of these signatures are valid, during which time Springfield Cannabis Regulation may continue to submit signatures. Once the city clerk judges the petition to be sufficient, the measure will be sent to the City Council for consideration at their August 13 meeting. The council may either pass the measure without amendment or send it to city’s voters at the general election in November.
“This petition will allow Springfield voters to instruct the government that the police have more important tasks than arresting people for possession of small amounts of cannabis,” said Reynolds. “By eliminating the hundreds of arrests for simple possession that occur every year in Springfield, we will free up resources to focus on more serious offenses such as property and violent crimes.”
Councilman Doug Burlison also voiced support for the idea. “The government is supposed to protect citizens’ lives and liberties, not arrest them for something that is, at worst, a personal vice, and at best, a tremendous medicine. We need to return government to its core functions, and expending public resources on the possession of small amounts of marijuana distracts from those functions.”
We still need to gather about 1,500 signatures to ensure that we have a good cushion to put decriminalization on the ballot in Springfield, but we have started the process and are confident that we can get those signatures. However, we still need your help. If you live in Springfield, contact Maranda via email her about where you can sign the petition. No matter where you live, if you would like to support the campaign financially, donate here. If we win in Springfield, it will send a powerful message to the rest of the state that it is time to change our draconian cannabis laws, so please help in any way you can!