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Missouri Legislators Who Want to Legalize Or Decriminalize Marijuana

collage pot ellinger kelly.jpg
Rory Ellinger (left) and Chris Kelly (top right).
Feeling pangs of jealousy over marijuana legalization passing in Washington state and Colorado? Never fear, there's a couple of Missouri legislators who've got the bug too.

Representatives Chris Kelly (D-Boone) and Rory Ellinger (D-University City) are interested in introducing bills that would significantly relax some of Missouri's ultra-harsh marijuana laws.

"I'm interested in keeping people out of prisons if ever possible," says Ellinger. "I'm also interested in keeping families together and not being torn apart by juvenile court because of marijuana."

According to one report, Kelly is interested in introducing a full-blown marijuana legalization bill. Unfortunately, numerous messages left for him were unreturned and we're not sure what his plans are at this point.

Ellinger has heard about Kelly's possible interest in a legalization bill, but isn't ready to jump onboard just yet.

"I have a lot of respect for Representative Kelly. He's very independent minded," says Ellinger. "I'm not sure I would be in favor of the [legalization] bill right now. I'd want to look at it some more, and look at any studies and reports."

Instead, Ellinger is interested in two potential bills -- one that would decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts and one that would provide a record expungement option. The decriminalization law would be similar to the Columbia law that passed in 2004, which made getting caught with 35 grams or less a municipal infraction. Smokers would get a fine rather than a night in jail and a felony criminal record. The expungement bill would provide a way for one-time offenders to scrub their records clean, if they demonstrate four or five years of good behavior after getting busted with a misdemeanor-sized amount of pot.

"It does not become part of one's life record so that you can never teach in a school,
you cant even get food stamps," says Ellinger. "I'm not sure complete legalization -- that we'd be completely ready for that, but I'm ready to listen to Representative Kelly."

So there you have it, Missouri. If you want it, get at these two.


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6 comments
rick.lootens
rick.lootens

at least a couple have some balls,c'mon missouri lets get this done,quit wasting money,and let missouri start making some money!

beautypeakwebdesign
beautypeakwebdesign

The fact that these two brave legislators are willing to publicly state they are in favor of cannabis legalization is a sure sign we are moving in the right direction on this issue. Its time to stop fining and jailing people for using a plant that, in the words of DEA administrative law judge Francis Young  "is far safer than many foods we commonly consume" and focus on serious law enforcement issues.

tshoup479
tshoup479

The federal government states there's no acceptable medical use for marijuana,yet it's legal in alot of states INCLUDING Washington D.C.. Now more then ever Missouri,the United States, needs to legalize marijuana. Not only to save young people from having they're lives ruined, or to self medicate, or even to restore rights of people with convictions. Personally that's enough reasons for me. But we need to legalize marijuana to maintain our nations status as independent, to become a stronger, more united nation. We need to stop thinking of excuses not to legalize,open our minds and see the good it could do. The dollar is getting weaker by the day. Lets stop making cartels rich,and start putting money in America's pocket! Please help by asking you're state representative to consider submiting a bill to legalize and tax marijuana.

markjonesisman
markjonesisman

legalization is the only way. it's so beneficial. research it.

thevocalcitizen
thevocalcitizen

Missouri needs to evolve its marijuana laws to reflect the will of the People, scientific evidence, economic forecasts, and medical evidence. Clinging to marijuana prohibition is akin to embracing the drug cartels, who WANT the U.S. to keep flushing billions of tax dollars down the toilet in the fight to eradicate this non-lethal plant. 

In a country where an adult over 21 can choose to abort a baby, drink endless amounts of alcohol, smoke a ton of cigarettes, gamble away a life's savings, become as obese as they want, or bad-mouth anyone under the First Amendment, American adults should have the right to use marijuana medicinally or recreationally if they so choose. 

Those who proclaim: "We don't need ANOTHER mind-altering substance to be legalized..." should first take a hard look at their own lives and determine how squeaky-clean their recreational choices are. Do they drink? Smoke cigarettes? Gamble? View pornography? If so, they should keep their opinions OUT of the lives of other "free" Americans who would rather eat a pot cookie to relax than drink a six-pack of Budweiser.

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