Reefer Rumble! Show-Me Cannabis Debates Missouri Drug Cop on Marijuana Legalization
However, Daily RFT wanted to talk to the people who were against legalization but came out to a debate about it anyway, such as Rashid Muhammad, an associate director of a youth drug counseling organization.
"I'm for keeping it illegal," Muhammad says, explaining that use of marijuana increases tolerance, which leads to dependency and greater use. "Even if it's regulated, people will always be able to get stronger stuff on the underground market because they can make money on it."
However, Muhammad says incarcerating people for marijuana is not something he's in favor of.
"I don't like that to the degree [incarceration] is being used now. They get felonies and then they can't get a job. I don't agree with that," he says.
Kevin Brouwer says he was on the fence about recreational use, but agrees with Muhammad that incarceration is not beneficial.
"I'm not necessarily in favor, I'm not necessarily against, but I'm curious about the conversation," he says, adding "I think there's a lot of other things we should be incarcerating people for and marijuana is not a good use of space."
There was one audience member Daily RFT spoke to who was in full favor of keeping marijuana illegal and locking people up for it: Jim Bielsmith, a board member of the MNOA and sheriff in Marion County.
"The only reason I think [marijuana] has a better perception now than it did in the [80's drug war era] is because the age group of the people has changed," Bielsmith says. "People who grew up in the 60's and 70's when the drug culture was pervasive are now moved up in the stature of society. They're now becoming the elders, and their perception of it is different than their parents were."
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