Missouri marijuana and medicinal cannabis advocates received permission from the Secretary of State’s office to commence gathering signatures for not one but two 2012 ballot initiatives that would legalize pot both recreationally and for patient use. Dan Viets (who serves on the national NORML board of directors) filed both initiatives that were the product of an alliance Viets formed with various Missouri NORML chapters, collectively branding themselves as Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, a play on Missouri’s nickname as the Show Me State.

 

The two ballot measures are identical; the sole difference being that one would enact a new state law while the other would amend the Missouri constitution to legalize cannabis for recreational use for anyone 21 or older and permit doctors to recommend pot to their patients, including minors. 

 

Additionally, both measures would free all state prisoners serving time for nonviolent cannabis violations and expunge all pot-related convictions from their records. Beyond the savings in revenue such a provision would provide, cannabis sold would also be taxed up to $100 per pound, generating even more cash for Missouri’s coffers. 

 

Getting the constitutional amendment on the ballot requires the collecting of a higher percentage of signatures in six of the state’s nine congressional districts than does the statutory amendment. All signatures must be turned in by May 2012 to qualify the measures for the November 2012 election.

 

In other Missouri-related pot news, it was just revealed that a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge against the son of Governor Jay Nixon was dropped in October for lack of evidence, even though Columbia P.D. officers clearly saw Will Nixon, 21, trying to hide pot on September 10 after they were called to Nixon’s apartment complex to investigate a noise complaint. 

 

The officers even displayed professional integrity after a companion of Nixon’s allegedly tried to influence the cops by alerting them to the fact they were busting the son of the governor, but the cops cited the younger Nixon anyway.

 

Turns out the cops were wasting their time, as the old adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” proved true once again. However, if one of the aforementioned ballot measures legalizes pot in Missouri in 2012, Will Nixon can toke freely and not have to rely on his family name to avoid a misdemeanor weed conviction getting on his record.

 

More @ stltoday.com & alternet.org