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Labor laws, medical marijuana among Missouri ballot issues drawing big money



Over the past several months, campaigns to change Missouri’s constitution and laws have attracted millions of dollars in contributions.

And, with several big issues likely to appear on the state’s ballots in August and November, that capital inflow isn’t likely to slow soon.

Although some initiatives are not final, Missouri voters could decide on ballot measures dealing with labor laws, medical marijuana, redistricting and more. Here’s a look at two issues that could appear on Missouri ballots and have attracted significant contributions:

Right to work

The law, which would ban the mandatory collection of union dues, was approved by lawmakers and Gov. Eric Greitens in 2017, but its enactment was suspended by an initiative petition that will let voters decide on the law.

“Dark money” can make it difficult to track contributions related to the issue, but unions and Democratic organizations are spending to defeat the law, with a committee called We Are Missouri playing a big role. Unions in Missouri and across the U.S. are driving much of the giving.

Republicans are spending to protect the law. A New Missouri, Inc., a not-for-profit created to advocate for Greitens’ agenda, has given $1.65 million to a group called Freedom to Work that supports the law.

Medical marijuana

Up to three ballot initiatives legalizing cannabis for medical purposes could appear on Missouri ballots this year.

Find the Cures, a group funded largely by Springfield attorney and physician Brad Bradshaw, has reported spending more than $1 million to support one legalization plan.

Missourians for Patient Care has spent more than $500,000 on another version.

The New Approach PAC has reported spending about $375,000. The New Approach committee had reported spending more than $1 million through March.

Read more: Springfield News-Leader

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