With a proposal to legalize adult recreational cannabis use that officially qualified for ballots in Missouri this week, voters will have a chance to end the marijuana ban this November.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said Tuesday that his office had approved a petition for the Legalization of Voting this year initiative. according to kansas city star.
For the initiative to qualify for state ballots, petition organizers had to obtain signatures from 8% of registered voters in six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.
Ashcroft’s office “certified more than 214,000 voter signatures in the state’s eight congressional districts, well above the approximately 180,000 required to vote,” said the Kansas City Star. I’m here. report.
The initiative legalizes cannabis for adults 21 and older and establishes a system of regulated cannabis markets within the state.
Like other states that have legalized recreational cannabis use, Missouri’s new law also provides a process for individuals previously convicted of cannabis-related offenses to have their records expunged.
A majority of Missouri voters approved an initiative to legalize medical marijuana in 2018. Polls show the state is ready to take the next step and legalize recreational cannabis as well.
But for Legal Missouri 2022, the coalition behind this year’s push for legalization, getting to this point is like a victory. Just two weeks ago, he seemed like the initiative was in danger of being disqualified from voting.
Regal Missouri turned in more than 385,000 signatures in total in May, but a local Missouri TV station reported late last month that the state’s four congressional districts could reach their signature limit. .
Ashcroft at the time cautioned that the Initiative was “not dead”.
“I can’t say without certainty if it will work. It’s never certain that they will fail,” Ashcroft said at the time.
On Tuesday, Legal Missouri was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief and focus on November.
John Payne, campaign manager for Legal Missouri 2022, said, “A statewide coalition of activists, business owners, medical marijuana patients, and advocates for criminal justice reform is working tirelessly to get to this point. It has continued, and deserves all the credit.” statement“Our campaign volunteers collected over 100,000 signatures in addition to the paid signature collection. , made all the difference.I look forward to engaging with voters statewide in the coming weeks and months.Missourians are ready to end the pointless and costly ban on marijuana. increase.”
With the fate of the initiative hanging at the end of last month, Payne remained optimistic, saying the discrepancy with the signing could be due to human error.
“A close scrutiny of the total number of voter signatures submitted to the state by counties showed that there were enough signatures to accredit civic initiative leading up to the November general election ballot, with some counties Found wrongly dismissed due to reliance on contingent workers Valid signatures of thousands of voters For clarification this suggests or suggests wrongdoing on the part of the county It is not a thing.
A poll conducted last month by SurveyUSA found that 62% of Missouri voters believe recreational marijuana use by adults should be legal.
Polls show a majority of Democrats (78%) and independents (68%) support legalization, with a majority of Republicans (47%) saying the same.