The Missouri General Election ballot has not one, or two, but three ballot measures concerning legalization of marijuana.
Other ballot measures include a proposition to raise the state minimum wage and an amendment, which focuses on lobbying and redistricting.
After years of continued support from Missouri citizens to approve marijuana for medical use, three ballot measures concerning the issue will be on the Missouri General Election ballot. Amendment 2, Amendment 3 and Proposition C all concern legalization of medical marijuana, but each have different stipulations regarding how much tax revenue will be collected, how many dispensaries may be operated and what the tax revenue will support.
According to Ballotopedia, Amendment 2 will approve marijuana for medical use and impose a 4-percent tax, which will be spent on healthcare services for veterans. Amendment 3 will approve marijuana for medical purposes and impose a 15-percent tax for biomedical research and a drug development institute. Proposition C will also approve marijuana for medical purposes and impose a 2-percent tax to be spent on education, veteran services, drug treatment and law enforcement.
Amendment 2 would allow Missouri doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with nine qualifying conditions. If approved, the patients would be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes and keep an amount of eight ounces, or a 60-day supply of marijuana with them. The amendment would allow up to 24 dispensaries to be operated in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.
Amendment 3, on top of the 15-percent sales tax, includes a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers and a $2.75 cultivation tax on marijuana leaves. Under this amendment, Missouri doctors would be allowed to prescribe marijuana to patients with 10 qualifying conditions. The drug institute funded by this amendment would be allowed to add more qualifying conditions over time. Patients would be allowed to have no more than three ounces of marijuana at a time. The amendment would establish up to two dispensaries, per 20,000 residents in Missouri counties and cities.
Proposition C would allow Missouri doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with nine qualifying conditions, with additional conditions upon the doctor’s discretion. The proposition would allow one dispensary per 100,000 state residents.
Prior to this year, Missouri has had no legislation on medical marijuana. Missouri has legislation to sell cannabis oil, also known as CBD oil, with zero-percent THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Missouri allowed farmers in 2014 to grow industrial hemp for the purposes of making CBD oil.
Missouri and Utah will both be deciding medical marijuana bills this November. Thirty-one states and Washington D.C. currently have medical marijuana legislation. Eight states and Washington D.C. have passed laws for recreational use of marijuana, as well.
According to Forbes Magazine, California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Michigan have a combined total of more than $6 billion in added tax revenue from legalized marijuana this year alone.
Proposition B, if approved, will raise the state minimum wage to $12-an-hour. The proposition would take full affect in 2023. After this year, the minimum wage would increase by 75-cents and would increase by an additional 85-cents each year until then. The minimum wage would then increase, or decrease based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers following 2023. State employers would be exempt from mandating the minimum wage increase.
The state minimum wage is set at $7.85 per-hour. The U.S. minimum wage is set at $7.25 per-hour. Missouri’s minimum wage currently increases automatically based on the cost of living. The minimum wage was raised by 15-cents at the beginning of 2018.
Missouri minimum wage ranks near the middle of the U.S., with more than 20 states having a minimum wage of $7.50, or less. If the amendment is passed, Missouri would be one of eight other states and Washington D.C. to have a minimum wage at, or higher than $12 an hour by 2023.
Amendment 1, if approved, would change lobbying laws, campaign limits and would allow for redistricting of Missouri legislative districts. Missouri lobbying laws would change by making former legislators wait two years before being able to become lobbyists, additionally lawmakers could only accept gifts equaling to $5, or less from lobbyists.
According to Ballotopedia, the amendment would prevent state legislators from creating laws allowing unlimited campaign contributions. Campaign contributions would be limited to $2,500 per-person for state senate candidates and $2,000 per-person for state representative candidates. Legislators would be barred from making, or accepting campaign contributions from people using a fake name, using another person’s name, or trying to conceal the identity of another donor’s name.
Additionally, the amendment would create a new state funded position known as the nonpartisan state demographer. The demographer is tasked with redrawing legislative districts. The new districts would be approved by a 70-percent vote from state commissioners. The position would be selected by the state auditor, state majority leader and state minority leader.
Currently, state legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census. The last legislative redistricting occurred in 2010.