By Leilani Haywood
The Lee’s Summit Health Education Advisory Board (HEAB) has forwarded a proposed ordinance regulating marijuana for City Council consideration. The subcommittee on marijuana drafted the ordinance after Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney assigned issue in November 2016 of responding to the possibility of legalization of marijuana by the State of Missouri. The Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiative may appear on the November 6, 2018 state ballot.
The initiative which requires 170,000 valid signatures, would remove marijuana from the list of state’s controlled substances, legalize marijuana for personal and medical use, allow for the sale of marijuana as well as immediately release all prisoners incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana-related crimes. Two versions of the initiative have been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. Each initiative has an estimated savings of $11 million but law enforcement costs could increase.
The proposed ordinance addresses the fact that City Council passed a resolution on June 16, 2016 in support of Lee’s Summit CARES mission of reducing marijuana-related problems. The City had also entered into cooperative agreements with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Jackson County COMBAT Drug Commission to address the use and abuse of controlled substances in the interests of public health and safety of the citizens of Lee’s Summit.
Dr. Stephen Salanski, chairman of the HEAB said based