Updated: Nov 22, 2022
This past week disgraced attorney and marijuana activist Dan Viets, who chaired the New Approach Missouri 2018 medical marijuana campaign and chairs the Advisory Board for the Legal Missouri 2022 recreational marijuana Constitutional ballot initiative, held a Facebook live discussion with Missouri NORML.
During this Facebook live, Mr. Viets said in response to criticism over the monopoly provisions of the Legal Missouri 2022 proposal that:
"LM 22 because it does not mandate as many licenses as you would like to see makes no sense, if you agree it is important to stop arresting people for marijuana."
However Mr. Viets, as an attorney and a drafter of the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign KNOWS that the Legal Missouri proposal DOES NOT end marijuana arrests. As we have covered previously, the Legal Missouri proposal (https://www.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/Elections/Petitions/2022-059.pdf) creates a Constitutional law enforcement mandate to stop and cite people smoking marijuana in public (page 35):
Not only is this a waste of scarce law enforcement resources, it will inevitably end up being enforced in poor and politically weak communities and particularly in Black and minority communities. This mandate also risks escalation of a law enforcement stop in ways that endangers both citizens and law enforcement officers.
The Legal Missouri proposal also creates civil and criminal penalties for those possessing more than 3 ounces of marijuana (their specified possession limit) and less than 6 ounces (pages 35-36):
Two points: First, by explicitly authorizing misdemeanor penalties for marijuana possession, the Legal Missouri proposal mandates arrest. Second, because the Legal Missouri proposal DOES NOT remove marijuana from Missouri's Controlled Substances Act & criminal code, you would still be able to get a felony arrest and prosecution for possession of more than six ounces.
Bottom line: Mr. Viets is promoting the Legal Missouri proposal as something that would "stop arresting people for marijuana" when in reality it would create Constitutional arrest and prosecution mandates for possessing more marijuana than Mr. Viets and his corrupt cronies would allow.
In 2018, Mr. Viets and his New Approach Missouri campaign deceived Missouri using the promise of legal medical marijuana and funding for veterans' causes to create the rigged licensing system that has led to great controversy. We can't -- and won't -- let Mr. Viets lie to Missouri about ending marijuana arrests to deceive our voters to giving Viets and his cronies the marijuana monopoly they so desperately crave.