COVID-19 Leads to Uncertainty for Missouri Marijuana Legalization Efforts
As the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, it has lead to uncertainty for the effort towards the legalization of marijuana in Missouri.
Missouri marijuana activists have raised concerns over their attempts to put legalization on the upcoming ballot. The pandemic has created an obstacle that is preventing them from gathering signatures for the campaign. Campaign manager for Missourians for a New Approach, John Payne, stated that there is no practical way to continue to safely gather signatures in the public due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Activists began collecting signatures this January and since then they have collected roughly 80,000 so far. However, a total of 160,199 valid signatures are required from registered voters in order to be presented on the ballot.
Payne stated that there is extensive support from Missourians to legalize recreational marijuana and they are continuing to explore their options. Coordinator of Missouri NORML, Dan Viets, also said that the effort to legalize marijuana in Missouri currently remains unclear. An official decision has not been made on whether or not the campaign will be suspended. However, if it is suspended, it is likely that activists will come back in 2022 to pursue their efforts.
Currently, Missouri law only allows marijuana for medical use. Patients who obtain their medical marijuana card are able to grow up to 6 cannabis plants and have access to Missouri dispensaries once they open. Having a valid medical marijuana card also allows patients to be able to legally consume, possess and transport marijuana in the state of Missouri.
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