Legalization of recreational cannabis in Missouri
Missouri wants to make it legal to grow and use marijuana. Whether it will pass or not is still unknown to the state.
On Tuesday, a Missouri senator submitted a bill that would make recreational marijuana legal. Missouri Rep. Ron Hicks, a Republican from St. Charles, came up with the Cannabis Freedom Act (HB 2704) in the Missouri House of Representatives and put it forward.
If the bill is passed, it would legalize the use of cannabis for adults, regulate the sale of recreational marijuana, and remove convictions for cannabis-related crimes. In a statement, Hicks said that he was grateful for the people who came together to make it happen, especially Oklahoma colleague Scott Fetgatter, who helped write the law.
“The Cannabis Freedom Act is the result of input from a lot of different people, including people who work in law enforcement and people who have been incarcerated for things that people now think are OK,” The Oklahoma State Representative stated.
Bill makes it legal for
people to have and sell
People who are 21 or older would be able to buy and use recreational marijuana under the new law, which was passed. Adults would also be capable of growing up to 12 plants of cannabis at home for their use.
People in Missouri who want to grow their own marijuana will have to get permission from the state’s Department of Agriculture. Without limits on how many licenses could be given to qualified businesses, the department would set the laws for the program. It would also give out licenses to people who make, distribute, and sell marijuana.
It says that the state Department of Revenue should set a tax of up to 12% on recreational marijuana products. This is what the Cannabis Freedom Act indicates. There would not be a tax on medical marijuana purchases made by people who have been approved by the state.
Recreational marijuana dispensaries would be run via the tax revenue they generate with each transaction. The rest would be split between the Missouri Veterans Commission, teachers’ salaries, and first responder pensions, and the rest would be used for the Missouri Veterans Commission.
The law says that state financial regulators can’t deny or slow down access to banking services for legal cannabis businesses. Licensed marijuana businesses would be able to bring state deductions for business expenses that aren’t allowed by federal law. Companies that didn’t get licenses would be able to deduct the fees they paid to apply for them.
Christina Thompson, who works for a group called ShowMe Canna-Freedom, says that Hicks’ bill would make it easier for companies of all sizes to get into the marijuana business.
People in Missouri can now buy and sell marijuana legally because of the Cannabis Freedom Act, Thompson said, adding, “I’m hoping that our state legislators will see how important this law is to the cannabis community, and I’m sure they will vote for it.”
This law no longer punishes people who smoke marijuana
Non-violent marijuana-related activities that the bill makes legal can also have their convictions erased. This is also included in the bill. Those who are currently in prison would be able to get a new sentence, and those who have been convicted before would be able to ask the judge to have their documentation erased.
On top of that, the bill allows people who are on parole or probation to use cannabis, too! Also, the smell of marijuana would no longer be something like a law enforcement officer’s search without a warrant.
Ex-councilman Daniel Jones, who served in the US Navy, said he was pleased with the legislation’s “reformative justice” provisions.
When Jones saw that the Cannabis Freedom Act had full release and expungement procedures for people who had only been caught with marijuana, he was “very pleased.” “If this proposal is approved, it will be a big victory for civil rights and the freedom of the right in the United States.”
Chris Hammann, the police chief in New Haven, and Rocky Kingree, a former prosecutor in Carter County, Missouri, also said that they support legalizing marijuana in the state of Missouri.
“Law enforcement doesn’t have to do the thankless job of enforcing marijuana prohibition anymore,” the law enforcement authorities said in a joint statement. “The Cannabis Freedom Act enables for reparative judicial actions that will keep the government as well as its citizens on the same page.”
Ballot Initiative efforts are also going on
An act in Missouri called the Cannabis Freedom Act gives the state another possible way to change its marijuana laws. Last year, a group called Fair Access Missouri started a campaign to change the state constitution so that recreational marijuana possession, manufacturing, and sales could be legally done in the state.
Legal Missouri 2022, a group that has the support of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL), also wants to make recreational marijuana legal in the state of Missouri.
Fawzy Simon, the president of the MACDL, said that if non-violent marijuana offenses were automatically expunged, it would be one of the most important and long overdue changes in our state’s criminal justice system. Basically, it’s a matter of being fair to everyone.
Missourians who are law-abiding should not have to deal with the consequences of doing something that is no longer illegal. In realistic terms, this will give thousands of individuals in the state a chance to start over.
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