Missouri Decriminalization and Legalization Bills Announced
Missouri State Representative Rory Ellinger has announced that he’ll be filing two cannabis-related measures once the 2014 legislative session convenes. One of the proposals will be a refiling of a measure he pushed this year – House Bill 512 – which would decriminalize the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis. Although the proposal didn’t proceed out of committee, it did receive a hearing at the end of May.
Activists believe that the hearing the bill received will help the 2014 measure gain more attention from the onset; “Receiving a hearing lends greater credibility to the bill and will likely make more legislators receptive to the idea next year,” states John Payne of the nonprofit, pro-legalization group Show Me Cannabis, “Political progress often feels almost interminably slow, but make no mistake, we are moving steadily forward.”
In addition to refiling his decriminalization proposal, Representative Ellinger will also be filing a cannabis legalization measure which will be modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64 , which legalized the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and the private cultivation of up to 6 plants, in addition to authorizing state-licensed cannabis retail outlets.
According to polling released earlier this year, a majority of Missouri residents support this move, and believe that it’s time to legalize cannabis.