The effort to legalize marijuana in Missouri is going full-steam ahead with everyone from activists and lawmakers to the state's only prisoner serving life without parole for marijuana-only offenses trying to free the weed.
Show Me Cannabis is currently polling two initiatives to see if there's enough support to try to get on the 2014 ballot. State Representative Chris Kelly (D) introduced House Bill 1659 last week, which would legalize and regulate marijuana for people over the age of 21. And Jeff Mizanskey, the man who has been in prison for the past 20 years serving life without parole for marijuana, has submitted a proposal that would make him a free man.
Dubbed the "Mizanskey Measure" by Mizanskey's attorney, Tony Nenninger, who filed the paperwork in Mizanskey's name, the initiative would legalize marijuana for people over the age of 21 and release nonviolent offenders from prison.
In addition to regulating marijuana and releasing nonviolent offenders, the initiative includes a provision to allow veterinarians to advise pet owners about the risks and potential benefits of medical marijuana for animals.
"We figured a happy dog makes a happy voter and lots of voters can relate to the benefits of relieving the suffering of their pets with a natural remedy," Nenninger tells Daily RFT.
The Mizanskey Measure is still in the public comment stage and the official language won't be approved until March. At that point, it will still need to collect enough signatures to qualify for placement the 2014 ballot.
Further along in the ballot process are initiatives proposed by pro-legalization group Show Me Cannabis. Having had submitted thirteen different proposals for marijuana legalization in early January, the group is currently conducting polling on two.
The results of those polls will determine whether Show Me Cannabis will pursue the expensive and arduous process of getting enough signatures to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
"We figure we need at least 60 percent approval," says John Payne, the group's executive director. He further explains that if that number is not realized, then they will seek placement on the 2016 ballot. Click on the next page to read about more legalization efforts...
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