Missouri to Vote on Recreational Cannabis, Expungement Amendment

Nov. 8, Missouri residents will have the opportunity to vote on legalization of adult-use cannabis. 

Missouri passed a constitutional amendment for medical cannabis in 2018 and advocates are looking to build on the momentum in the state. 

Amendment 3, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, is on the ballot in Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment. If voters pass the initiative, Missouri will become the 20th state to fully legalize and tax the drug. 

More than 214,000 voters signed the initiative, well above the 180,000 needed to secure the ballot. 

GreenLight and the Push for Expungement

Along with removing bans on cannabis sales, consumption, and manufacturing for adults over the age of 21, the initiative in Missouri is unique in that it would be the first piece of legislation to expunge cannabis arrest records

GreenLight, a prominent cannabis company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, has been on the frontlines pushing for the initiative, bringing interested parties together into a formidable coalition. 

GrrenLight is pushing for legislation in several states in the Midwest. Photo courtesy of GreenLight.

“Specifically here in Missouri, we’re instrumental and really the entire industry got behind the initiative, said Greenlight CEO, John Mueller.

“We got the NAACP and NORML, and all the licensees. So, we’re really proud of the fact that we can bring a coalition, and have nobody on the other side that thinks they’re got left out of the equation.”

As the largest operator in Missouri, GreenLight was in a unique position to lead the way for the expungement addendum on the initiative. 

“We basically helped craft that and worked on expungement and social equity licenses, et cetera and very instrumental in that. We see it pulling in the low sixties in November, as it is just about the whole country is nowadays.”

“Our statewide coalition of activists, business owners, medical marijuana patients and criminal justice reform advocates has worked tirelessly to reach this point, and deserves all the credit,” John Payne said, campaign manager for Legal Missouri 2022, another prominent group that pushed for the ballot question.

According to the amendment, individuals with certain marijuana-related offenses would be eligible for release from prison and parole, as well as expungement of marijuana-related charges and convictions on their records. 

Violent crimes related to marijuana would not be eligible under the amendment, however. 

Aron Vaughan

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