Cannabis has arrived.
Missouri is among at least a dozen states looking at medical marijuana legalization in 2018. Twenty-nine states already allow that, with nine having given the thumbs up to recreational use. And despite U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ promise to stamp out pot, a Gallup poll last October found nearly two thirds of Americans support legalization.
In the Show-Me State, an organization called New Approach Missouri has been gathering signatures to get a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana on the November ballot. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has approved several petitions for circulation. They include calls for access to both medical and recreational pot, with the minimum age for the latter set either at 18 or 21.
The petitions propose state taxation at four or five percent and promise as much as $18 million dollars in new annual tax revenue. One proposal would dedicate the money to medical treatment for veterans. Another would target education. Excitement over the potential for state revenue is stimulated by reports such as one from Arcview Market Research, which has predicted the total economic output from legal cannabis will grow from $16 billion in 2017 to $40 billion by 2021.
Some ballot measures would vacate the sentences and expunge the criminal records of past marijuana possession law violators while prohibiting Missouri from