Ask lobbyist Mark Habbas about the people supporting the ballot initiative he’s pushing to make medical marijuana legal in Missouri and he hems and haws.
“Various people” support the Missourians for Patient Care initiative, he says.
Push some more, and Habbas, the spokesman for the effort, offers a variant of the same answer.
“It’s people who are passionate about the medical marijuana movement.”
Why the secrecy?
It may have something to do with who is behind the initiative, their connections to one powerful politician, and their apparent plans to profit if the initiative ever becomes law. Two of the top officers with the Missourians for Patient Care initiative have received lucrative land deals or contracts with boards controlled by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. The businessmen are big donors to Stenger’s campaign, and at least two of the county deals appear to have a connection to the marijuana business. The initiative, if passed, would grant Stenger wide powers to determine who gets the potentially lucrative licenses to distribute and sell medicinal marijuana.
Habbas would not reveal board members of the nonprofit group that is funding the medicinal marijuana effort, but the initiative’s strategic plan, which has been given to some donors, lists all of them. The Post-Dispatch has obtained a copy of the plan.
The group’s president