Why Won't Governor Nixon Say Anything About Marijuana Reform?
"This is a private matter that will be handled through the municipal process," the governor said after the arrest. "My son is a fine young man, and we will be working through this issue as a family."
See also: Will Nixon: Governor's Son Charged with Marijuana Possession
And that's exactly what happened. Charges against Willson Nixon were dropped. No jail time. Not even community service or a ticket. If only other families could also work through such issues as a family that way.
Instead, Missouri police arrested 20,000 people for marijuana in 2011, and 91 percent of those were for possession, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. The ACLU says that number makes Missouri the 13th highest for marijuana arrests by state. Per capita, the Show-Me State is 11th in the nation.
Most of those people don't have money for a lawyer, much less dads for governors. That makes it difficult to get the handcuffs taken off without some kind of blemish on one's record, whether it's through prison time or a fine.
Even small amounts of pot can cause problems. Large amounts can cause years - even a life - in prison. But it's legal in two states.
With the cultural and political shift towards marijuana legalization, it would seem like a good idea for the governor of a state with some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country to at least address the issue. But instead, Nixon has remained silent.
Talking about Missouri losing out on the coveted Boeing 777x contract in his State of the State speech, Nixon said, "We didn't win the biggest prize - but we competed at the highest level."
But Washington won. At the highest level, too.
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