Adult-use cannabis in Missouri could be on the horizon, as a local coalition has filed a petition to legalize. The group, Fair Access Missouri, is seeking to legalize cannabis for adults of legal age and create an “open-use market.”
The group’s hope is that legal cannabis will help boost and support the economy and create much-needed jobs in the state. Fair Access Missouri is in the process of filing the petition with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office this week. According to members of the advocacy group, they have worked “for years to establish open markets and fair rules” for entrepreneurs, patients and consumers.
“Today’s filings are the next step in that fight,” Fair Access Missouri said in a statement. “We’ve seen across the country that smart rules and an open market are the way to go when legalizing cannabis, and that’s what we’ll be bringing to Missouri.”
However, recreational cannabis isn’t the only thing they seek to legalize. The group would also like to bring back and revise an amendment to the state constitution that would “permit state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions.” The petition claims that this is the goal for the legal industry it hopes to create.
If medical cannabis does become a reality in Missouri, qualifying conditions to start would include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, “intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment,” post-traumatic stress or “any terminal illness,” as well as other conditions yet to be specified.
Missouri Amendments to Make Change
The petition would also add a section to the amendment “to permit the safe and legal use of cannabis” for those 21 and up. If the amendment is officially approved, legal residents could possess up to 4,000 milligrams of THC-infused products. They could also possess up to 28 grams of concentrate or extract and eight ounces of flower.
Those under 21 would only be able to consume cannabis if they were medical patients with special approval, as in many other legal states.
Those who are eligible for cannabis use could also grow up to 25 square feet of cannabis, as long as they own or lease the space they are growing in. The only restriction is that the area must be secured and away from anyone under the age of 21.
Like in many other legal states, folks would not be allowed to sell cannabis privately, and only licensed cultivation centers and retail stores will be allowed, in order to keep the market legal and regulated.
Missouri Wants Cannabis
Fair Access Missouri is not the only group that supports recreational cannabis in the state. Missourians for a New Approach urged residents to sign a similar petition, and have tried to get votes and attention to the issue in the past.
However, during past attempts, different law enforcement agencies were against legalizing cannabis and stood against the move. It’s not clear if that will still be an issue this time around.
Things may be different this time, as the overall perception of cannabis in the state seems to be changing. Kansas City, Missouri Major Quinton Lucas announced in February of last year that he plans to start pardoning past municipal convictions for cannabis possession.
Still, it’s not totally clear how successful the Fair Access Missouri petition will be, as it is still making its way through the initiative process. It could be about 65 days before they have an answer. It’s also not yet decided if the coalition will try and get enough signatures to get on the ballot as well.
But one thing is clear—there is a call in Missouri to at least decriminalize or expand medical access, if not legalize, so it’s clear that change is on the horizon.
Addison Herron-Wheeler is co-publisher and owner of OUT FRONT Magazine, and web editor of New Noise Magazine. She covers cannabis and heavy metal, and is author of Wicked Woman: Women in Metal from the 1960s to Now and Respirator, a collection of short stories.