As those following marijuana politics in Missouri know, there are several different proposals floating around hoping to achieve success in 2022:
-State Representative Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin) intends to refile his House Joint Resolution legalizing marijuana without license caps or personal possession limits through a legislatively mandated referendum
-Fair Access Missouri has filed proposals for legalizing marijuana without license caps but does create personal possession limits and homegrow limits
-A widely anticipated proposal from the Legal Missouri 2022 group (successor from the 2018 New Approach Missouri campaign) is expected to have both possession limits and restrictions on commercial licensing and market entry
All three proposals are anticipated to have significant criminal justice elements, including expungement of criminal records and release of marijuana offenders serving time in prison.
The Crossing Paths Political Action Committee will work to advance any proposal that is viable, whether it is Representative Dogan's legislative referendum or a ballot initiative proposal. However, wherever possible, our members and funders are committed to advancing the proposal with the most freedom: we fundamentally believe possession limits and barriers to commercial entry are antithetical to the spirit of legalization.
There are two further practical considerations:
-Representative Dogan's proposal, which would advance through the legislature, has maximum flexibility with regards to tweaks and amendments to create a streamlined, efficiently run legal marijuana regime. Ballot initiative proposals, particularly those attempting to change the Missouri Constitution, are relatively inflexible and do not offer all stakeholders on an issue an opportunity to comment or provide input.
-Ballot initiatives are expensive propositions; most estimates are in the neighborhood of $3 million dollars for signature collecting and persuasion/turnout campaigns. By contrast, a legislative push for Dogan's proposal may only cost in the neighborhood of $500,000, between lobbying, constituent organizing, and publicity costs.