Virus likely dooms Missouri recreational marijuana campaign

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Picture of man smoking marijuana

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Backers of an effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri say the campaign will likely not get on the ballot this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Missourians for a New Approach has been trying to collect 170,000 signatures to get the question on the November ballot. So far, they have only collected 60,000.

Dan Viets, the group’s chairman, said it’s difficult to collect signatures because public gatherings are banned and most people are staying at home. Campaigners also can’t go door to door right now while maintaining CDC guidelines.

The group has already had to cancel at least one event in Kansas City.

Campaign manager John Payne wants to extend the deadline for collecting the signatures beyond May but state election officials have said that the deadline is determined by the Missouri Constitution. 

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