Missouri recreational marijuana ballot initiative faces pair of challenges

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A group of Missouri lawmakers asked the state’s governor to add recreational marijuana legalization to an  upcoming special session as an alternative to the Nov. 8 adult-use cannabis ballot measure.

At the same time, a circuit court judge has until Sept. 13 to rule on a lawsuit that would block the ballot measure, according to the Missouri Independent.

Despite the pending lawsuit, the lawmakers want voters to say no to the ballot question because it would create a monopoly in the industry by giving existing medical marijuana businesses an advantage, the Kansas City Star reported.

The group of lawmakers also wants Gov. Mike Parson to get the Legislature to pass a bill introduced last session that would have created a more “free market” adult-use marijuana program.

The upcoming special session is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Political insiders in the state say it’s unlikely the governor will add marijuana to the special session, though Parson did call the ballot measure a “disaster.”

Meanwhile, the lawsuit in Cole County Circuit Court is arguing that the recreational marijuana initiative petition would change sections of the Missouri Constitution in violation of single-subject rules and that the organizers did not gather enough signatures to make the November ballot.

The suit is backed by the Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America as well as Protect Our Kids PAC, a Colorado-based super PAC launched earlier this year that opposes the legalization of drugs.