Marijuana Decriminalization Effort Has Week to Close Signature Gap

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Over a month into a signature-gathering effort in Springfield, activists for Show-Me Cannabis say they are still short about 1,500 valid names.

The petition would get a marijuana-decriminalization law put before the city council at their August 13 meeting and place it before voters on the November ballot. That means the team has one week to drum up the names to keep the initiative from dying.

"We actually knew ahead of time when we turned in our first round of signatures that it most likely wouldn't be enough," says Maranda Reynolds, the head of the volunteer effort in Springfield.

The law would be very similar to one passed in Columbia in 2004. Smokers caught with 35 grams of herb or less would be ticketed instead of arrested, and if found guilty pay a maximum fine of $150. City courts would consider these teeny-tiny busts to be a municipal infraction, as opposed to a misdemeanor in the state court system.

The deadline has been something of a moving target, but 2,101 signatures need to be verified by the city clerk by August 7. That's how much time city administrators need to prepare the city council for a vote on the measure at its August 13 meeting. The council has the option to pass the bill itself, though that's highly unlikely. Should they vote it down, the issue would go before voters on the November ballot.

As of last Wednesday, the campaign turned in 3,050 signatures and the city came back with the number deemed valid: 936. Since that tally, the volunteers have turned in an additional 800, according to Reynolds, toward their rough goal of 1,500.

"We're still on pace to get enough signatures to make it to that August 13 meeting," assures Reynolds. "That's what we intended."

Springfielders looking to lend their John Hancock to the effort can find petitioners here.

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An appeal to all Prohibitionists:


Most of us know that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high—no matter what, so why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists, and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future.  


Why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself to be a poison in the veins of our once so "proud & free" nation? Even if you cannot bear the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and trillions of dollars on this dangerous farce; Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. Do you actually believe you may personally have something to lose If we were to begin basing our drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?  


Maybe you're a police officer, a prison guard, or a local/national politician. Possibly you're scared of losing employment, overtime pay, the many kickbacks, and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid, and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks? 


Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem. 


Prohibition prevents regulation: legalize, regulate, and tax!


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