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Missouri may become the first state to fully legalize cannabis if supporters can round up 100,000 to 160,000 signatures by early May of 2012. An association called Show-Me Cannabis has given two proposals to the Missouri Secretary of State that would change either the legal statutes or the actual state constitution in order to regulate marijuana and industrial hemp and remove the plant from criminal law.

The proposals would both accomplish the same goals: farmers would be allowed to grow hemp, patients would be allowed to medicate with cannabis, and adults would be allowed to use and grow it. The city of Columbia passed legislation in 2004 to semi-decriminalize pot offenses and stop sentencing violators to jail time, so the MM movement has some momentum in Missouri. The legislation’s authors are following the familiar “saves money, makes tax revenue, keeps people out of jail” line of reasoning which has been successful in other states and “Frankly, we would like our society to be safer, and having this market in the hands of criminals doesn’t make anybody safer,” said Amber Langston, campaign director for Show-Me Cannabis.

Of course many local prosecutors and other law enforcement types are against the idea of, you know, not putting people in jail, so they say they’re against the Show-Me Cannabis plan.

Residents from CoMO to the Ozarks who don’t believe a plant should be illegal may want to make sure they have a working pen handy. They can keep track of the progress being made on this legislation right here.

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Author: Rib

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