Missouri Senator Moves to Legalize Cannabis in 2016
March 2nd, 2015
Policy, Top News
Missouri may be a highly conservative state where marijuana legalization seems unlikely, but Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) thinks otherwise.
Sen. Chappelle-Nadal introduced legislation this week to legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana. The legislation is based on Colorado’s model, which tracks every aspect of production and taxes at the point of sale, and generated over $8.5 million in new tax revenue. Using these funds, Missouri could better fund education, health care, and other pressing needs for underserved communities rather than prosecuting minor drug offenses.
“After much thought, deliberation, and research, I have concluded that Missouri must begin the process of legalizing marijuana in order to reap the multiple associated economic and societal benefits,” said Chappelle-Nadal in a statement. “Missouri has the chance to be at the forefront of an emerging industry, creating jobs in both rural and urban areas of this state… we simply cannot afford to be behind the curve on this issue.”
Beyond the potential medical and economic benefits, Sen. Chappelle-Nadal suggested that legalization would provide other societal advantages, pointing to recent studies suggesting marijuana may help decrease instances of domestic violence and also reduce the number of painkiller overdoses. The legislation could also save the state money on law enforcement, prisons, and courts, while at the same time helping collapse an underground market.
Missouri has long been opposed to any form of marijuana legalization. In fact, the state is home to Jeff Mizanskey, who is serving a life prison sentence for marijuana only offenses. Possession of over 35 grams of the drug is a felony punishable by seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine, making the state one of the harshest in the country when it comes to prosecuting users or sellers of marijuana within the state’s borders.
Sen. Chappelle-Nadal’s move to legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana represents a step in the right direction for Missouri, while success in the state would be a great sign of things to come given its traditionally conservative views.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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