By John Payne
As promised last week, we have created advocacy pages for all the cannabis law reform bills currently filed in the Missouri General Assembly. Contact your legislators and urge them to support medical marijuana (HB 1324), decriminalization (HB 1325), and full legalization and regulation (HB 1659)!
Each page will identify your legislators when you provide your address or nine digit ZIP and contains talking points as well as several different form letters. However, please personalize your letters in some way, because the more effort you put into the letter, the more your legislator will realize you care about the issue.
The legislature adjourned early last week because of the inclement weather. That delayed the filing of the Senate version of Rep. Chris Kelly's legalization bill, so we held off on sending out a text broadcast to our mobile campaign.
Finally, I'm sure many of you are eager to know if we will be pursuing an initiative campaign this year. I cannot answer that question just yet, but the polling should be done this week, so I expect to have an answer in time for next week's newsletter.
If we receive fantastic polling results (e.g. 60 percent support or more among likely 2014 voters), we plan to pursue a campaign this year. If the results are good but not great, we will hold off on an initiative campaign until the presidential election in 2016, but we would still likely encourage the legislature to put legalization on the ballot this year.
If the legislature takes action, we would not have the tremendous expense and risk of a signature gathering campaign with a very short time frame. Or, if we have to wait until 2016, we would have far more time to gather signatures and could spend dramatically less money on it. That would allow us to put far more resources into actually promoting the policy to the voting public and make it easier to win at the ballot box.
Regardless of what strategy we ultimately pursue, ending cannabis prohibition in Missouri is going to be an expensive endeavor, and we will not be successful without your help. Will you pledge today to contribute $10 or more every month until we reach the finish line?