Why We're Seeking Change

  • In 2018, Missourians approved medical marijuana by an overwhelming majority of 66 percent. We believe there is similarly strong support for legalizing adult use — as the high patient enrollment to date and hundreds of millions in sales thus far attests.

  • Nineteen other states plus the District of Columbia have approved measures to successfully regulate and tax adult-use marijuana. That including neighboring Illinois, where out-of-state residents account for nearly half of the purchases.

  • Legalizing adult-use marijuana will free up more resources for the state’s law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, allowing them to focus on serious and violent crimes.

  • Missourians now have confidence in our state government’s ability to operate a new division of state government that would regulate marijuana. The Department of Health and Senior Services has effectively administered the new program and met all guidelines set out by the Missouri Constitution.

  • There were nearly 2,300 applications for the roughly 350 business licenses awarded at the end of 2019, indicating a tremendously robust appetite to participate in this burgeoning, 21st century Missouri industry. And with retail business locations constitutionally required to be evenly distributed across the state, those new businesses are promoting economic growth in big cities, bedroom communities and rural areas alike.

  • As of January 2017, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported nearly 100,000 marijuana-related arrest charges in the state’s criminal justice database. Those behind bars in that category were sentenced to an average of seven years.

  • In 2018 alone, there were almost 21,000 marijuana-related arrests in the state.

  • Recent research shows that Blacks are 2.6 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in Missouri, even with comparable national usage rates. In three counties (Johnson, Lafayette and Lincoln), between 2010 and 2018 Black people were more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts.

  • Marijuana possession arrests during that same time period accounted for 50 percent of all drug arrests in Missouri, placing the state just outside the nation’s Top 10 for the highest cannabis possession arrest rates.