Have you voted yet? If not, look up your polling location and make a plan to get there before 7 p.m. when the polls close!
Voting is one of the most important tools we have to change marijuana laws. Sitting out an election is a great way to ensure that failed prohibitionist policies remain in place.
Today Missourians have an opportunity to vote on not one, but three different medical marijuana initiatives. MPP encourages voters to say “YES” on Amendment 2, because it will enshrine a sensible and compassionate medical marijuana program in the state constitution, making it harder for state politicians to undermine it later.
Today, be one of the millions of Americans voicing their support for humane and rational marijuana policies through the ballot box. Grab a few friends and get out there and VOTE!
Learn more about the campaign and make a donation here.
Last month, a team of grassroots activists beat the odds and succeeded in qualifying a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adults in North Dakota. With just a few weeks left until Election Day, they need our help. Today, MPP is endorsing their effort and urging allies to support Measure 3. Click here to read the full text of the measure.
There’s a real chance North Dakotans could approve Measure 3, which would end prohibition and create a process to seal criminal records for nonviolent marijuana convictions, but polling suggests the vote is going to be very close. Every dollar the campaign receives goes towards voter outreach and education. North Dakota has a small population, so your contribution could make all the difference.
A victory for Measure 3 would be huge. It would show that adult-use legalization can win anywhere, even in more rural and conservative states. It would also send a strong message to Congress that federal laws on marijuana are deeply unpopular throughout the country.
2018 is shaping up to be a big year for our movement. There are four marijuana-related state ballot questions in play, and each of them needs your help. Click the logos below to check out the campaigns. Please follow them on social media, spread the word to voters in those states, and donate what you can.
Last Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives voted 112-44 to approve a very limited medical marijuana measure. Then, on Friday and Sunday, campaigns handed in signatures for three different medical marijuana ballot measures.
New Approach Missouri and Find the Cure submitted signatures proposing constitutional ballot measures, while Missourians for Patient Care turned in petitions for a statutory measure. Next, the secretary of state will review the signatures to see if enough are valid for the measures to make Missouri’s November ballot.
Turning back to the legislature, HB 1554 would improve Missouri’s existing low-THC cannabis oil law, but it is extremely limited and flawed. If you are a Missouri resident and would like to weigh in on the measure, please urge your senator to push for the bill to be strengthened.
HB 1554 leaves behind pain patients, steering them to more dangerous opioids. It also doesn’t allow “combustible” marijuana or for patients to be assisted by caregivers. Furthermore, patients can’t qualify unless a physician certifies they would benefit from medical cannabis “at the same dosage and with the same method of smokeless administration used in a clinical trial.” Yet, the feds have stacked the deck against clinical trials, and there are very few with non-smoked cannabis. This catch-22 could deny patients the kind of cannabis they’d benefit from.
Please stay tuned for updates, and share this news with your networks in Missouri.
Missouri Alderwoman Megan Green is introducing an ordinance in St. Louis to prevent the use of city resources to enforce laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. Specifically, the ordinance would:
- Prohibit city police and other officials from using city resources to enforce marijuana prohibition against adults; and
- Continue to enforce marijuana prohibition laws against minors and those who provide marijuana to minors.
Alderwoman Green said, “We’ve come to a point as a country, and as a city, where marijuana usage is not taboo in the way that it used to be.”
And people across Missouri are beginning to agree.
Earlier this year, voters in Kansas City approved a measure to reduce the penalties for simple possession of marijuana, amending local laws regarding possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil offense punishable by a $25 fine.
Also in Missouri, there is a citizen initiative to place a measure on the 2018 ballot that would implement a medical marijuana program. New Approach Missouri is leading the campaign. Please visit their website to get involved.
MPP worked closely with Alderwoman Green and others allies in St. Louis to provide guidance on the details of the proposed ordinance and we thank her for being a leader on this issue.
With all of this local government involvement and citizen-initiated activity, let’s not forget that Missouri’s legislature is at a standstill. If you are a Missouri resident, please tell your state representatives to move forward with improving the state’s marijuana policies.
With nine months left to gather signatures, the hard-working volunteers of New Approach Missouri are well on their way with over 50,000 already collected! The total number required to qualify for the 2018 ballot is 160,199.
However, gathering enough total signatures is only one part of the process in Missouri. It is also necessary that the signatures be distributed across different congressional districts in the state. So New Approach Missouri is planning to hire a professional petitioning firm to help push the campaign over the finish line and to ensure that geographic distribution requirements are met.
In other news, the list of advocates calling for medical marijuana in Missouri has expanded to include retired NFL player Kyle Turley, who played for both the Kansas City Chiefs and the St. Louis Rams! Kyle is a patient and an advocate because medical marijuana has allowed him to live without pain and painkillers, as well as helping him to overcome depression. Check out his story here.
New Approach Missouri is closing in on its second quarter finance reporting. Having a strong financial report translates to having continued success in the campaign to create a medical marijuana program in Missouri.
Additionally, New Approach Missouri has been promised $200,000 in matching funds once the organization meets its own fundraising goal of $250,000 - and NAMO is well on their way with $185,000 to be banked by Friday.
Signature collection is steadily progressing with 40,000 signatures collected and with a plan to increase signature production with paid collectors later this summer.
New Approach Missouri has until May 6, 2018 to submit signatures, but from now until then, it's all hands on deck. For information about upcoming events, news and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit New Approach Missouri's website.
MPP is excited that New Approach Missouri is spearheading an effort to give voters a chance to enact a comprehensive medical marijuana program this November. The ballot initiative would allow seriously ill patients who have a certification from their doctor to obtain medical cannabis from dispensaries regulated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. For our complete summary of the initiative, please click here.
Should voters amend Missouri’s constitution to establish this program, medical cannabis would be subject to a 4% retail sales tax. Revenue from this tax would go to establishing the Missouri Veterans Health Care Fund benefiting veterans with health care assistance, drug rehabilitation services, housing assistance, job training, and tuition assistance.
But voters will not have the opportunity to cast a ballot for this compassionate program unless New Approach is able to collect enough signatures. They need to collect 256,000 signatures by May 8, 2016. Currently they are about 40% of the way to their goal. If you are a Missouri resident and want to get involved, please make sure you have signed the petition, and then review this training video and contact your respective volunteer coordinator to help out.