The goal of legalization isn’t just a West Coast thing anymore. Maine, New York, and even Alaska are the un-traditional cannabis states to make headlines this year as states with serious chances to legalize cannabis in the near future.
Missouri, while not quite as far along, has hopped on the legalization bandwagon thanks to Show Me Cannabis, a group of committed activists hoping to get legalization on next year’s ballot. It might not be the bible belt, but bordered by Kansas and Arkansas, Missouri certainly wouldn’t be considered a liberal, progressive state.
Last night, over 200 people attended a showdown debate for legalization between activists and the police:
This time, the discussion involved law enforcement. The National Narcotics Officers Coalition has never addressed marijuana proponent organization, Show Me Cannabis, until now.
Vice President of NNOC, Sgt. Jason Grellner, said Show Me Cannabis has recently been holding several town meeting about legalizing marijuana in Missouri and he felt it was time people heard the other side.
Show Me Cannabis is planning to poll voters in 2014 to see if there is enough support to putting marijuana legalization on the ballot next year.
Show Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne and Sgt. Grellner faced off in a respectful, professional debate for 90 minutes — which included questions from the audience.
When asked who won, St. Louis City resident Cecil King said, “It’s probably about half and half, both arguments on both sides, very good. It’s something both sides should get involved in and take a look at.”
“They both want the same end, which is to stop the abuse of a drug, but they’re coming at it in different directions,” said St. Louis City Resident Mike Votaw. [KSDK]
Missouri and Show Me Cannabis’ actions–no matter how minor–are important. It’s emblematic of the nation-wide struggle, that people who love this plant in every state, even the conservative ones, are fighting, and pushing the boundaries on legalization.
Whether or not the subject of legalization makes Missouri’s bill next year, we’re seeing progress thanks to activists and common sense. Eventually, that progress will turn into legal weed.