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This week, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill aiming for legalized medical marijuana in the state. The Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative may appear on the ballot in Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 6, 2018. The Daily Leaf will keep you updated on this potential progress.

The measure would legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The initiative would allow state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana use to patients with certain qualifying conditions. The measure would also tax the sale of medical marijuana at 4 percent and allocate revenue from the tax toward providing healthcare services for military veterans.

The ballot title is as follows:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
  • impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana; and
  • use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license/certify and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities?

This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, and $6 million for local governments. Annual state operating costs are estimated to be $7 million.

Constitutional changes

See also: Missouri Constitution

The measure would add an Article XVI to the Missouri Constitution.

Full text

The full text of the measure is available here

Sponsors

New Approach Missouri is leading the campaign in support of the measure.

Arguments

  • Tom Mundell, chairman of the Missouri Association of Veterans’ Organizations, said, “We can dramatically improve the lives of thousands of Missouri veterans by passing this critical medical marijuana initiative petition. Our proposal will both provide veterans suffering illnesses much-needed relief and provide resources for underfunded veterans health care programs throughout Missouri.”

Support

The contribution and expenditure totals for the committee supporting the initiative were current as of April 27, 2018.

Committees in support of the Medical Marijuana Initiative
Updated as of April 27, 2018
Supporting committeesCash contributionsIn-kind servicesCash expenditures
New Approach Missouri$924,067.14$10,240.93$798,760.78
Total$924,067.14$10,240.93$798,760.78
Totals in support
Total raised:$934,308.07
Total spent:$809,001.71

Donors

The following were the top five donors who contributed to New Approach Missouri as of April 27, 2018:

DonorCashIn-kindTotal
Drug Policy Action$225,000.00$0.00$225,000.00
Larry Malaschock$110,000.00$0.00$110,000.00
Belleau Farms/Adulphus Busch IV$100,000.00$0.00$100,000.00
Missouri Essentials LLC$76,500.00$0.00$76,500.00
Emerald City Holdings LP$50,000.00$0.00$50,000.00

 

Process

In Missouri, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated constitutional amendment for the ballot is equal to 8 percent of the votes cast for governor in the previous gubernatorial election in six of the eight state congressional districts. Signatures must be filed with the secretary of state six months prior to the election.

The requirements to get an initiated constitutional amendment certified for the 2018 ballot:

  • Signatures: The smallest possible requirement is 160,199 valid signatures. The actual requirement depends on the congressional districts in which signatures are collected.
  • Deadline: The deadline to submit signatures is May 6, 2018.

Once the signatures have been filed with the secretary of state, the secretary copies the petition sheets and transmits them to county election authorities for verification. The secretary of state may choose whether the signatures are to be verified by a 5 percent random sample or full verification. If the random sampling projects between 90 percent and 110 percent of required signatures, a full check of all signatures are required. If more than 110 percent, the initiative is certified, and, if less than 90 percent, the initiative fails.

Initiative

Sheila Dundon, a member of New Approach Missouri, filed five different versions of the initiative with the secretary of state’s office between November 18 and November 28, 2016. In December 2016, Dundon said activists had surveyed the state and we’re confident that voters would approve the measure. New Approach Missouri selected one of the proposals—Initiative 2018-051—to collect signatures for. The initiative was approved for signature gathering on January 5, 2017.

In October 2017, Jack Cardetti, a representative of New Approach Missouri, said that the group had collected about 100,000 signatures. On February 20, 2018, New Approach Missouri reported that more than 200,000 signatures had been collected.

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