New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative is Approved for Circulation

   

By each and every metric, marijuana prohibition has been a dismal failure. Marijuana is the most widely utilized illicit substance and has very much moved mainstream. A strong majority wants to legalize and regulate cannabis like alcohol for all adults and a super-majority feels that it should be legal for medicinal use. It warmed my heart today to see my birth-state of Missouri move one step closer to a sane cannabis policy when I learned that the New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana initiative is approved for circulation.

From New Approach Missouri:

We will also begin disseminating to a number of businesses and other establishments that have agreed to serve as permanent signing locations. Look for another email within the next couple weeks with information about where you can find a signing location near you. And if you own an establishment with regular hours of operation and would like to host a petition at your storefront, please email info@newapproachmissouri.com, and we will send someone to train your staff as soon as possible.

I know Missourians possess tremendous enthusiasm for this initiative. Thousands of you will make a point of signing it, and hundreds will volunteer their time to gather even more signatures. But to collect nearly 160,000 valid signatures — which will require nearly a quarter million total signatures — and ensure that this vital measure makes the ballot, we must hire a professional signature gathering firm.

That firm will not only gather many of the signatures directly, but also coordinate volunteers and validate all signatures to ensure that they are from registered Missouri voters. To accomplish all that, it will cost around $800,000, and we have to make a substantial down payment to get started.

We need your help to make that possible, so please contribute what you can now for the signature gathering effortWith thousands of grassroots supporters in our network, even relatively modest contributions add up, so whether you can contribute $5 or $500 or anything in between, you can make a difference today.

The fact that a substance that a majority of Americans feel is safer than alcohol and should be legal is still prohibited, further erodes citizens’ faith in our government. When sick and disabled patients and their providers are persecuted for cannabis, then citizens’ outrage is even greater. States across the country are moving away from the failed policy of prohibition and are instituting more reasonable laws. Each state is influenced by the next state, making Missouri very important to the national fight to end cannabis prohibition as more conservative states are unlikely to be influenced by progressive states like Oregon and Massachusetts, for instance.

Whether you live in Missouri or not, what happens in the Show-Me State reverberates across the nation. If a majority of voters in the Heartland support medical cannabis, we will add more federal officials fighting for sensible cannabis laws in Congress and more states, such as neighboring Arkansas, will soon follow Missouri’s example. Please spread the word and consider donating to this important campaign.

 

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.