The Missouri Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative will not be on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot. Petitioners failed to gather the required minimum number of signatures – 157,788, by the May 8, 2016 deadline.
Voter initiatives require a number of signatures equal to 8 percent of the votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election. Signatures must be gathered from 6 of the 8 congressional districts with the choice of the districts left to the petitioners.
As a result of the failure to obtain enough signatures to put the recreational marijuana initiative on the ballot, Show-Me Cannabis supporters turned their efforts to an alternative, the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. More than 250,000 signatures were gathered and submitted to Missouri’s Secretary of State. Full text here.
No later than August 8, 2016 the secretary of state must determine the validity of the signatures which, if certified, would allow the proposal to be placed on the ballot.
In summary, Initiative 2016-135 (Ballotpedia.com) would amend the Missouri Constitution to:
- allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
- impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana; and
- use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities?
This proposal is estimated to generate additional annual taxes and fees of $17 million to $21 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, $8 million for other state programs, and $7 million for local governments. State operating costs will be significant. Additional local government costs are likely.
New initiatives to legalize marijuana for Arkansas (medical), California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts and Montana (medical), have qualified to be on the respective states’ November 8 ballot.
Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana in previous elections.