Recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states, next month Missouri voters could make the Show-Me state the 20th state to legalize it.
On this episode of 4Star Politics, supporters and opponents of Amendment 3 join FOX4’s John Holt and Dave Helling to weigh in on what the issue could mean for the state.
But first, if Missouri Amendment 3 passes, this is what would change in Missouri:
- Recreational marijuana use will be legal in the state. Currently, only medial marijuana is allowed.
- People will be allowed to grow marijuana, within certain limits
- It also sets up a system to provide licenses allowing the sale of marijuana, much like medical marijuana did
- Certain non-violent marijuana offenses will be expunged
The idea began as petition, and supporters gathered enough signatures to allow Amendment 3 on the ballot for a vote in the Nov. 8 election.
“It’s time for adults to be able to participate in a system, in a business, and to quite frankly, stop criminalizing marijuana,” Justice Gatson, Legal Missouri 2022, said.
Gatson, and other Amendment 3 supporters, say sentencing for some minor marijuana offenses doesn’t often fit the crime.
“We’ve seen that Black and Brown communities are sentenced higher, they are incarcerated more than our white siblings who do the same thing. Quite frankly the Missouri vehicle stops report has come out now for over 20 years and they have told us time and time again that Black individuals do not carry more cannabis than anyone else,” Gatson said.
Gatson says many groups, like the ACLU of Missouri, have tried to solve that problem without legalizing marijuana for years, and the efforts have failed.
The issue still exists, however, that marijuana remains illegal at a federal level, and that brings other issues.
Opponents of Amendment 3 say many of the states that have legalized marijuana are still dealing with the issues they expected to fix by making the change.
“[In Colorado] one in four traffic fatalities now are linked to marijuana. The incidents of kids on marijuana has skyrocketed. Marijuana addiction in kids, 25-percent higher in Colorado and other states that have legalized as opposed to states that have not legalized,” Eric Zahnd, Platte County Prosecutor, said.
While some argue that marijuana isn’t addictive, Zahnd says that’s no longer true.
“The marijuana we’re dealing with today is completely unlike the marijuana of the 60s and 70s. In the 60s and 70s, one to three-percent THC. THC is the part that makes you high. Now? Somewhere between 18 and 23-percent and if you get into the edibles and waxes, unlimited potency. 99-percent potent. That is very different,” Zahnd said.
Hear additional arguments in support, and in opposition, of Missouri Amendment 3 by watching the full episode of 4Star Politics in the above video player.
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