“This is really one of the most profound criminal justice reforms that’s been proposed here in Missouri. What we’re talking about here is ending the prohibition on the adult use of marijuana and expunging records, in many cases automatically, so those people are no longer suffering the consequences of an arrest or conviction from five, ten, twenty years ago and are able to move on with their lives,” John Payne, campaign manager for Legal Missouri 2022, told the Riverfront Times.
When I was first working to decriminalize cannabis within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, nearly two decades ago, I didn’t think that the entire state would have legalized medical cannabis by 2020, and I certainly didn’t think that the Show-Me State would be on the verge of voting to end prohibition as early as 2022. I remember hoping that just one state, probably California, would legalize by 2020, or I was just going to give up. Thanks to hardworking advocates across our great nation, and a now-majority voting population that has been educated to see through Reefer Madness propaganda, 19 states have legalized for adults, along with our nation’s capital and the U.S. territory of Guam. Now, Middle America voters in Missouri may have an opportunity to legalize cannabis while automatically expunging old convictions, as the Riverfront Times reported:
“’Cannabis reform is about more than establishing a safe and legal market,’ Jamie Kacz, executive director of a cannabis reform nonprofit organization called NORML KC, said in a press release. ‘It is about righting the many wrongs prohibition has caused to our communities, especially to communities of color.’
Beyond criminal justice reform and creating a safer market for marijuana sales, Legal Missouri 2022’s campaign would also help give back to the community in the form of a six percent sales tax. The money gained would first be used to pay for the expungements, then distributed equally to veterans’ healthcare, the public defender’s system and drug addiction treatment.
Medical marijuana has already proven successful since sales began in October 2020. The industry surpassed $90 million in sales in July and more than 136,000 medical marijuana cardholders in Missouri.
While it may come as a shock to some that Show-Me State voters end prohibition in 2022, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Cannabis has proven to be extremely popular at the ballot box, with legalization winning majority support across all political persuasions. With the good folks in Missouri already seeing that the sky hasn’t fallen after legalizing medicinal cannabis, it’s an easy step forward to create even more jobs and generate even more revenue for important programs. With all of the craziness in this world, it’s nice to have so many positive developments in drug policy reform as state by state freedom and common sense are on the march. Good luck to the advocates working hard in my ol’ stomping ground.
Kind Leaf is pleased to see so much progress ending cannabis prohibition across the country. Once federal legalization ends unnecessary regulations, fees, and taxes, we look forward to passing savings onto our great customers. In the meantime, please check out some amazing deals at Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique where military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients always receive discounts.