With over 40% of our nation living in states that have legalized cannabis, our fight for freedom is reaching a tipping point where a majority of our citizens reside in states that have swept Reefer Madness prohibition into the dustbin of history. I’m so happy to see that the hardworking Missouri advocates that led the state’s medical marijuana campaign gearing up to place a full legalization initiative on the 2022 ballot. Legalization in Missouri will benefit the state by creating jobs, generating revenue, and better allocating law enforcement resources, but most importantly, a vast majority of racist and classist cannabis arrests will be a thing of the past.
I was fortunate to be mentored by longtime Missouri attorney and NORML board member Dan Viets over two decades ago, helping craft successful reform measures in Columbia AKA College Town USA. Dan has been helping lead the charge in Missouri for over 40 years and he apparently has no plans of slowing down. One of Dan’s best attributes is that he can keep things in perspective and knows that there can be be positive developments even when you suffer setbacks. Our first local campaign in Columbia together lost, but Viets and other advocates didn’t let that deter them from winning at the ballot box the following year and there have been so many ups and downs and twist and turns for activists, all across the state. Missourians for a New Approach had planned a to place a legalization question on the 2020 ballot, but the COVID crisis derailed signature gathering efforts. Viets, in his usual manner, saw benefits in the delay, as the Riverfront Times reported:
“But the extra time has given the campaign months to draft a better proposal for voters, says Dan Viets, who sits on the initiative’s draft committee and also serves as a Missouri state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“Among the provisions that have changed since 2020, Viets says that ‘the expungement provisions in this draft are going to be far broader, far more comprehensive, and far more helpful’ — and adds, ‘Some of the other provisions related to discrimination and employment, I would say they are also some the most important things that we’ve incorporated into this.’
“Another plus for the 2022 version? Viets says it won’t just be looking forward to an adult-use industry, but also incorporating lessons learned over the past months as Missouri’s burgeoning cannabis industry has gotten off the ground.”
I am so excited to see the unveiling of the new 2022 legalization measure and to do what I can to help the good folks in the Show-me State pass a common sense policy reform. It is easy to see that the Drug War has failed, especially the war on cannabis. With Illinois already enjoying record-setting profits, there is no reason for Missouri to send money out of the state when ending prohibition can bring more freedom, jobs, and revenue to America’s Heartland. Just as the headlines out of Illinois’ will impact Missouri, other surrounding states like Arkansas, Nebraska, and Iowa will all be influenced by future cannabis revenue numbers generated from Kansas City to St. Louis. A sincere thanks to those in the Show-me State that are continuing to fight the good fight in Middle America.
Kind Leaf thanks those that are fighting for freedom and common sense across the United States and around the globe. There are so many victories and reasons to celebrate and we’re happy to help you.