Another day, another group trying to legalize marijuana in yet another state. Make that two groups, in two states.
Efforts are underway in both Missouri and Idaho to get cannabis initiatives on the ballot in 2012 and bring the legalization question directly to voters.
In Missouri, a group called Show Me Cannabis is set to start gathering signatures for a pair of pro-pot measures. The initiatives call for legalizing and regulating pot like alcohol, taxing marijuana sales and allowing patients under 21 to use cannabis for medical purposes with a doctor’s recommendation. It’s an interesting approach, given that groups in other states initially try to pass medical pot laws before attempting to legalize weed for recreational use. It’s also notable because Missouri has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. Supporters of the initiatives are most certainly swinging for the fences on this one.
Marijuana has been a hotbed issue in Missouri for a while now. Lawmakers have introduced some type of marijuana bill each of the past five years, to no avail. Most recently, the state Legislature brushed aside a medical marijuana bill that boasted nearly a dozen co-sponsors, adjourning for the year before taking up the issue.
In Idaho, a group of citizens are collecting signatures for an initiative that would pave the way for medical marijuana use by patients with debilitating conditions. The MMJ supporters, who are organized under an organization called Compassionate Idaho, say the law would offer an alternative for patients looking for an alternative to traditional prescription pain killers. It’s tough to say how this one will turn out. Idaho residents have mixed feelings about medical marijuana, with many supporting the idea of it but not exactly the sale and distribution of it.
Efforts are underway in nearly a dozen other states – including Colorado, Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida and California – to get marijuana measures on the ballot next year, with some seeking full legalization and others focusing on the use of pot for medical reasons.