Marijuana Brings New Challenges
By Michael Boyd, jr.
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
The approval of Amendment 3 is a huge win for Missouri’s established medical marijuana industry, creating a licensing system for businesses that wish to sell or grow cannabis.
In addition to Ste. Genevieve County saying “no,” entities such as the NAACP, Pro-Choice Missouri and Great State Strategies also opposed the constitutional amendment.
But the one in favor? The Missouri ACLU. And there is the rub.
Some did not favor the amendment due to concerns of a possible monopoly, that the amendment dignified a monopolized-market into the state’s constitution, making for an unfair advantage over small-business owners to obtain licenses to sell and grow pot in some communities and villages.
Supporters, however, were overjoyed statewide as they look forward to the freedom for “private” use and an “end of marijuana criminalization.”
In 2018, half of all drug arrests in Missouri involved marijuana offenses, according to the ACLU.
With Amendment 3 passing, people charged with nonviolent offenses will be able to automatically have their criminal records expunged.
Previous state law required those convicted of marijuana offenses to file a petition with the courts.
The expungement provision does not apply to violent offenders or people whose offenses involved distribution to a minor or driving under the influence of marijuana.