Marijuana Petitions Meet Standards For Circulation

Neill Franklin points out other narcotics officers at the Show-Me Cannabis discussion, Thursday. | Photo by Taylor Malottki
Neill Franklin presents at a November event in Columbia focused on changing Missouri's marijuana laws. | Photo by Taylor Malottki

Thirteen initiative petitions regarding the production, sale, distribution and consumption of marijuana and hemp products have met Missouri’s standards for circulation, Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Wednesday. The petitions were submitted by Dan Viets of Columbia, who is an attorney and the state director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The 13 petitions, which would amend the Missouri Constitution, would appear under three separate ballot titles. In order for them to appear on the ballot in November, signatures must be obtained from voters totaling 8 percent of the 2012 total vote count in six of the eight congressional districts. Those signatures at due by May 4.

Viets said in December that the campaign would try and poll to determine which measures to circulate after Kander approved the language. He also said that the petitions were similar but differed on the number of plants someone can grow and the amount of processed marijuana a person could have.

All three ballot titles would allow for the production, sale, distribution and consumption of marijuana and hemp products by persons at least 21 years old, permit the state to establish a tax and authorize licensing procedures and allow the use for medical marijuana.

The language differs in the change for criminal provisions for marijuana. The first two look to change criminal provisions for marijuana offenses and allow individuals who have certain marijuana-related offenses to apply to have the records relating to the offenses expunged. The third would simply change the criminal provisions.

The other changes are about the revenue increase. Each says Missouri state government expects $1 million in startup costs and annual operating costs starting at $4.6 million, which might be offset by savings in the criminal justice system.  The first ballot initative says that revenue increase could exceed $142 million, the second says it could possibly exceed $217 million and the third says $142 million.

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