Show-Me Freedom: Cannabis Legalization Initiative Underway in Missouri

The political fight to end cannabis prohibition at the ballot box has relatively followed a certain pattern, both for medical and adult use. The first states to pass legalization laws have been Western states with the initiative process, think Colorado, Washington, California, Alaska, and Oregon, followed by a wave of more moderate states with the initiative, such as Michigan, and then more conservative states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri pass medical measures. Not many people would think that Missouri could legalize cannabis for all adults before say New York, but that might just be the case because the initiative process allows advocates to take the issue directly to the voters, bypassing elected officials that are either beholden to special interests or are simply lagging behind politically on legalization. Well, a Missouri couple operating the mom-and-pop Fresh Green dispensary in the Kansas City metro area is helping lead an effort to end prohibition in the Show-Me State in 2022, as KMBC Channel 9 News reported, they are working hard to maintain a medical dispensary while working to move beyond just medicinal use:

“It’s a lot. It’s just 24 hours a day, that’s all we do,” said Bianca Sullivan.

Sullivan and her husband, Rob, opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Kansas City area. Now, they want to expand to the recreational market.

“We’re all for the full legalization of marijuana that nobody goes to jail for and it’s not a crime,” said Rob Sullivan.

Full disclosure: I’m a minority owner of Fresh Green and am proud to call Rob and Bianca friends. Bianca got her start in activism back in the late 1990s in California and she and Rob have built a successful law practice helping those that have been wrongfully injured. It has always irked me when those in the medical cannabis field don’t advocate for legalization for all adults, so I’m very proud that the Fresh Green team is wholeheartedly behind ending prohibition, regardless of any medical condition.

Placing a measure on the Missouri ballot is more difficult than it is in Oregon as you need to collect a certain percentage of signatures in various congressional districts, so advocates have their work cut out for them to gather the requisite signatures in time for 2022. Some lawmakers are hoping to head off the initiative process with their own bill as they see the writing on the wall, but whether legalization is on the ballot in America’s Heartland in 2022 or 2024, I’m confident that a majority of Missouri voters will say, “Show-Me freedom and common sense,” and legalize for all adults.

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