Early results show Missouri voters support legal weed | Media Pyro


JEFFERSON CITY – A proposal to legalize recreational use for adults in Missouri appeared to win on Sunday night.

Despite many parties and polling officials calling for it to fail, the “yes” votes for Amendment 3 narrowly outnumbered the “no” votes by a margin of 52-48 with 42% of the vote in calculate it.

An hour after the polls closed, voter tallies have not yet arrived from many Republican strongholds in the state. Early returns, for example, in Cole County, home of the state government, showed the program losing 56-44.

But former voters in St. Louis County favored legal weed with unofficial reports showing the lead 56.7% to 43.2%.

The measure would amend the state constitution by allowing those 21 and older to purchase and use marijuana. If approved, Missouri will join 19 states that have legalized recreational marijuana for adults in the past decade.

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Its expansion into other states was enough to win the support of south St. Louis resident Petrit Beka, 53.

“Why don’t we?” Beka said.

Aubrey Evans, 39, said Amendment 3 was one of the biggest points for him on Election Day. He said it’s “absurd” that marijuana is still legal, and that there are “too many people in prison” because of it. Concerns about licensing and including the law in the constitution were not enough to stop him.

“There’s still some red tape going on and things that need to be done,” Evans said Tuesday outside the Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Center in University City.

The push to legalize pot through a ballot initiative comes after Missouri lawmakers failed to approve legislation that would have introduced something similar.

Missourians will vote on November 8th for the full legalization of marijuana. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, announced that the initiative has received enough signatures to go before Missouri voters.

Current pharmaceutical companies have funded the “yes” campaign with over $7 million in contributions.

The lengthy amendment outlines a plan to create a federal program to regulate who gets a license to grow and sell marijuana. The amendment would also automatically expunge the records of people with previous drug charges, and would allow those incarcerated on marijuana charges to petition for their release.

The federal tax rate on drug products will be 6%. Real estate and local sales taxes are also applicable.

Money collected from the federal tax goes to programs for veterans.

If approved, sales will begin in February.

The amendment has been endorsed by groups such as the Missouri ACLU and Empower Missouri, as well as Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.

He also has bipartisan support among lawmakers, including Rep. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, and House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield.

Chris Chesley scored 3 points across St. Louis County. Louis on Monday night, slept in, and went to report to the polls all day Sunday.

When the polls closed, he grabbed a beer and joined two dozen others at a bar in Ballpark Village in downtown St. Louis. Louis to think about the warranty trip and the last day. He and others were rocked by the majority of voters but say they also battled signs and ads and misinformation about the reform.

Chesley has a pharmacy and drug education center at the University of St. He also worked for other states on law enforcement.

“Why are other governments going to us?” Chesley said. “This is what the program is all about. This will pass in Missouri, and I hope the next state continues.

But some opponents objected to a provision that would allow dispensaries for the first time to change their licenses for recreational businesses.

The Missouri Hospital Association, which represents and advocates for more than 140 hospitals across the state, warned that public health costs, including emergency room visits and “treatment for mental and addiction disorders,” which could lead to a larger increase in government revenue from taxes. cannabis products.

And other groups, such as the Missouri NAACP, said it was unfair to impose a decade-long ban on marijuana against minority groups.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones is among those urging voters to oppose the amendment, saying it would fall on promises of crime reduction.

“We’re better,” he said via Twitter.

Some voters brushed aside those concerns, saying it was the government’s best option for legalization.

“I would prefer it to be approved earlier. I don’t think we’re going to do anything else,” said Roger Roe, 40, after voting in the Tower Grove South district.

At the Ballpark Village event, James Coleman believes critics need to talk about reform sooner rather than later. Coleman, who quit working for the city to work in the drug industry full time with a drug trafficking company. Coleman believes the amendment can go a long way toward improving equality for minorities. However, he believes that the overall benefit of the reform is the money that few people can now take advantage of.

Lee Riley, who works with Good Day Farm distilleries, one of the state’s largest breweries, agreed with those sentiments.

“There may not have been anything more progressive in Missouri,” Riley said.

“I don’t want to stop progress at the expense of excellence.”

The Post-Dispatch’s Jacob Barker and Taylor Tiamoyo Harris contributed to this report.

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