Support nationwide for marijuana legalization is at a five-decade high, according to a Gallup poll conducted in October.
And rising numbers of petitions and bills — even one joint resolution — calling for legalization in Missouri mirror the trend.
It’s no joke. With 19 petitions in play and five bills in the Missouri House under consideration, people on both sides of the issue are lining up for a scrum.
House Joint Resolution Number 86, filed Thursday, is a serious attempt to get the state in line with a national trend, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Courtney Curtis, D-Ferguson.
“It’s about changing the conversations,” Curtis said. “The numbers we see on social media show there’s a high number of people in favor of legalization.”
But communities and government leaders oppose legalization in any form, said Joy Sweeney, director of the Jefferson City-based Council for Drug Free Youth.
“They’re coming out strongly against marijuana,” Sweeney said. “When you give (lay people) options like decriminalization, they edge out legalization. That includes states that already have it legalized.”
Although Colorado legalized marijuana use for adult uses in 2012, many of that state’s communities later “opted out” of retail marijuana sales by voting to not allow commercial sales of marijuana in their towns and counties.
That’s a concern the petitions bring up, Sweeney