Divided MO Democrats won’t endorse adult-use marijuana ballot measure

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Not all Missouri Democrats support the adult-use marijuana legalization ballot initiative that will go before voters in November, and the party will not endorse the measure this fall.

Overall, the state’s Democratic Party supports legalization, but the current wording of Amendment 3 “may negatively impact minorities, people of color, and low-income earning Missourians,” the committee said in a news release.

Both Trudy Busch Valentine, the state’s Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, and Alan Green, a candidate for state auditor, are supportive of the ballot measure as it’s worded, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, does not support the ballot measure.

According to the newspaper, Democrats are divided on two main issues:

  • Medical marijuana licensees would be first in line for adult-use licenses. The MMJ framework drew criticism for its limited licensing.
  • The process for criminal record expungement for marijuana offenses isn’t clearly outlined in the amendment and will lead to confusion, according to a spokesperson for the No on Amendment 3 campaign.

A recent poll by Remington Research Group and Missouri Scout indicates that Missourians are similarly split, with 43% of respondents in favor of the adult-use constitutional amendment and 47% against, reported Greenway magazine.

John Payne, Legal Missouri’s campaign manager, told the Post-Dispatch that he is confident the measure will be supported by voters on Nov. 8.

All of this comes at a time when legalization opponents have pursued legal avenues to keep the measure off the ballot.