Missouri voters could legalize recreational marijuana this fall

Voters in Missouri will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, after supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to that effect successfully introduced it on the ballot.

Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft (right) certified the initiative had received enough signatures on Tuesday, eliminating the hurdle in six of the state’s eight congressional districts.

If passed, the amendment would impose a 6% tax on all non-medical marijuana sales, with profits directed to a new “Veterans, Health and Community Reinvestment Fund” that will be managed by the state.

One-third of the fund would be earmarked for health care and other services for military veterans, one-third for drug treatment and overdose prevention, and the remaining third would be used to pay for legal assistance for low-income Missourians through the state. public defender system.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Ashcroft encouraged Missourians “to study and educate themselves” about the ballot initiative.

“The 2022-059 initiative that voters will see in the November ballot is particularly long and deserves careful consideration,” he said.

Nineteen states, two territories and the District of Columbia have so far legalized cannabis for non-medical adult use, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan political organization.

If passed, Missouri would arguably be the most conservative state yet to regulate adult recreational marijuana.

While voters in South Dakota passed a ballot initiative in November 2020 legalizing marijuana there, the state Supreme Court struck it down because it violated the state constitution. South Dakotans will vote again this year on a similar initiative.

Even though a super majority of Americans say marijuana should be legal, federal cannabis reform remains unlikely this year.


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