Show-Me Cannabis Regulation began circulating petitions last November to decriminalize marijuana in Missouri, but fell short of the number of signatures needed by the May 6 deadline.
Tony Neninger in Columbia was part of that effort, and says Show-Me Cannabis has set its sights on the next statewide ballot. While he dissolved his own group — Show Me Hemp — he says Show-Me Cannabis continues to operate statewide and work to educate Missourians on the health and agricultural benefits of growing legalized marijuana.
Nenigner says Missouri needs to clearly define legalized marijuana, because states operating under the auspices of medical marijana are not truly protected. Medicinal producers, many of them in Northern California, are producing in great quantities, while those in other states growing agriculturally aren’t protected from federal authorities shutting them down.
The group points to global commission on drug policy members former US Secretary of State George Schutlz, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and former Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan’s call on the U-S to break the taboo on debate and reform, and have an honest conversation about the cannabis plant.
“These and other highly notable figures call on us – particular those living in the US to ‘End the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others,” says the group’s website. “Challenge rather than reinforce common misconceptions about drug markets, drug use and drug dependence….break the taboo on debate and reform. The time for action is now.'”
Neninger says he believes in the ideals of the group, but thinks its’ efforts to pass a statewide initiative were fractured, which ultimately led to the death of the initiative. He hopes the group and its’ subsidiaries can agree on ballot language and a canvas approach that is successful in putting a measure in front of voters in 2014.
Meanwhile, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation is supporting an initiative in Springfield that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis there.
“This measure will save Springfield’s taxpayers thousands of dollars in law enforcement expenses every year, and — more importantly — save hundreds of peaceful Springfield citizens from arrest and the curse of a criminal record,” says the group’s website. “Our Springfield initiative is modeled upon an initiative that was approved 61 percent of voters in Columbia, Missouri in 2004 and has effectively limited the damage of cannabis prohibition in the city over the past eight years.”
Neninger says an initiative to legalize and regulate cannabil would:
- Encourage farmers and industry to ecologically produce agricultural hemp for paper, fiber, fuels, animal and human food, lubricants, plastics and medicines.
- Allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical conditions.
- Allow adults 21 and older to grow a 10-by-10 personal-use garden
- Challenge federal prohibition pursuant to rights retained by the people and the states by the 9th and 10th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
- Prohibit Missouri funds, police and others from enforcing federal prohibition.
- Release cannabis-only offenders from prison / parole and expunge records.
- Allow state to tax / regulate commercial cannabis for adult use.
- Allow state / counties to share license revenues from agricultural, industrial, medical, and recreational cannabis businesses.