Kansas City, MI Could Be Next To Ease Cannabis Penalties
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/29/2012 in Medical Marijuana Legalization
Could Kansas City be the next city in Missouri to lighten up on its penalties in pertinence to lighting up? The big question could be answered soon.
Residents in Columbia, in 2004, passed a measure that relaxed penalties for smoking marijuana and marijuana possession greatly. Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, a pro-marijuana advocacy group, said last week that it might soon amount to similar efforts in Kansas City and Springfield to regulate penalties.
Amber Langston, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation’s campaign director and leader of the Columbia effort, said, “We think those are incremental steps that could really help in getting a statewide measure passed. “
A petition drive earlier this year fell short of getting the necessary number of signatures it takes in order to get a statewide initiative on the November Missouri state ballet. Langston said that falling short of receiving the necessary number of signatures was more of a lack of resources than a lack of support. It takes a great amount of money and an even greater amount of foot soldiers to collect the 145,000 necessary signatures.
Amber Langston has served as an outreach director and international liaison for Students for Sensible Drug Policy in Washington, D.C., and has worked on marijuana initiatives in the state of California. She said, “This state is a lot closer than people think.”
Sixty-two percent of voters approved making marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority in Columbia in November of 2004. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is considered dangers and has no medicinal benefits. Due to the state’s legislation and voter referendums, roughly about thirty percent of Americans live where penalties for marijuana use have been significantly relaxed, either by medical marijuana statues or through the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. Connecticut is set to become the 17th state, along with the District of Columbia, to snub out Washington on this issue.
The Show-Me Cannabis Regulation advocacy group is now considering another statewide push in November of 2014 to achieve their goal.
As supports may see this issue as hopeful and positive, oppositions such as John Hagan III are firing back. Hagan is a Kansas City ophthalmologist and staunch opponent of easing marijuana laws. Hagan says marijuana is illegal for a good reason. “Every study so far shows far more detrimental effects than anything beneficial,” said Hagan, who is editor of the Missouri Medicine Magazine, in which he recently published an editorial he wrote himself that attacked an effort to “make Mary Jane an honest woman.”