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Ex-Alderwoman Triplett Avoids Charges; Fined $22,000 For "Breaking Community's Trust"

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KSDK
Kacie Starr Triplett
In a series of decisions she herself called "indefensible" and motivated by "greed and selfishness," former St. Louis alderman Kacie Starr Triplett admitted in February to using a campaign fund as her personal ATM, paying for everything from spa outings to her gas bill and withdrawing thousands in cash.

But on Friday, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce announced that Triplett can avoid criminal charges by paying $22,000 in restitution. Though the law recognizes no victim in a case of misused campaign funds, Joyce says the money will be given to the St. Louis public school system, since "it's the community's trust that is the victim here."

However, the deal only exists because Triplett waived the statute of limitations on her own crimes, choosing to fully implicate herself in raiding her campaign's coffers.

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"Free Jeff Mizanskey" Efforts Continue with Billboards and 360,000 Signatures

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Show-Me Cannabis
The billboard is on I-70 in Saline County.
Efforts to release Jeff Mizanskey, the only man in Missouri serving a life-without-parole sentence for a nonviolent marijuana charge, are continuing this month with help from Show-Me Cannabis and Change.org.

Show-Me Cannabis has bought billboard space on I-70 near Kansas City (and near Sedalia, where Mizanskey was arrested). The billboard features a photo of Mizanskey and says: "Life without parole for cannabis? It's time we fix our unjust marijuana laws."

A photo of the billboard, which is on I-70 in Saline County, not far from where Mizanskey was arrested in Sedalia, can be seen above.

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Representative Rory Ellinger of University City Dead at 72

Categories: Politics

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Rep. Rory Ellinger.
Representative Rory Ellinger, one of Missouri's most progressive Democratic voices, died Wednesday morning after battling aggressive liver cancer.

Ellinger made national headlines earlier this month when Governor Jay Nixon flew to Ellinger's University City district to sign his final bill -- vital and unanimously approved legislation to protect breastfeeding mothers -- into law.

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Democrat Says Missouri Auditor Asked Him Not to Run; Wanted to Make History Unopposed

Categories: Politics

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Bill Haas claims Schweich called him to ask a favor.
Bill Haas says he realizes this will cost him his friendship with Missouri auditor Tom Schweich. But he says he can't let it go, especially after a recent Politico article about the weakened status of the Missouri Democratic Party. In that article Schweich is quoted as saying he is "pleased that for the first time in over a century the Democrats have failed to field a Democrat for a statewide seat in Missouri."

But according to Haas, one of the reasons Schweich is running unopposed for auditor is because he called Haas and asked that he not run for the position.

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St. Louis Cops Aren't Required to Have Training in Dealing with Mentally Ill People

Categories: Police, Politics

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Youtube/Post-Dispatch
Police officers in the entire St. Louis metropolitan area might be expected to deal with mentally ill people on a daily basis, but they're not required to have any training about it.

Last week, when the Post-Dispatch published a story and video of St. Louis City police officers beating Mario Crump, a mentally ill man, most people felt sympathy for the man getting beat. But many also had empathy for the officers who had the difficult job of restraining a belligerent man whose own family had called the police on him.

There was also a lot of anger over the method the police officers used: Several hard baton swings and at least one swift punch on a man who was kicking at the officers while sitting in a chair. The image of two officers standing over and beating a man in a chair gave the impression that these St. Louis Metropolitan police officers did not know how to deal with a mentally ill person.

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Cannabis Oil Bill: Step Forward for Medical Marijuana or Just a Way to Stall Progress?

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Chmee2/Wikimedia
Half step forward, one step sideways?
Missouri Republicans might pass a bill that would allow cannabidiol oil - a form of medical marijuana - for people with severe epilepsy, but the restrictions on it are so tight that marijuana reform advocates are not exactly thrilled.

The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Caleb Jones (R-Columbia), would allow people with severe epilepsy to use cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a cannabis extract. The oil has been growing in popularity among epileptics, many of whom are children, who experience multiple seizures per day. The medicine has been known to lessen the frequency and intensity of these seizures and does not contain any psychoactive properties.

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"Pit Bull Conservative" Brian Nieves Wants To Be Franklin County's Paper-Pushing Patriot

Categories: Politics

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via
State Senator Brian Nieves wants to go home. Last week, after twelve years spent throwing his freedom-laden weight around the chambers of the Missouri legislature, the polarizing politician announced his candidacy for the Franklin County Recorder of Deeds.

Detailing his motivations in a string of Facebook posts, Nieves wrote that the relatively low-level local government position -- or the "Front Lines of Freedom" -- is in dire need of a "Hard Core, Pit Bull Conservative," presumably to defend vulnerable property records from the encroaching tyranny of misfiled paperwork.

"Can't wait to start this new chapter of service to The People and am looking forward to being the Conservative Standard Bearer at the Franklin County Government Building!" he posted on March 17, one week before filing as a candidate for a position that requires virtually zero ideology or politicking.

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Cannabis Reform Advocates Say Missouri Still Has a Chance for Medical Marijuana in 2014

Categories: Politics

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O'Dea/Wikimedia
Some day...maybe sooner than later.
There's still hope for medical marijuana in 2014.

Despite some setbacks earlier this year, marijuana-reform advocates say that a medical-marijuana bill is off to a good start in the legislative process and might have a chance of getting on the November ballot.

SB 951, which was introduced by Senator Jason Holsman, would legalize marijuana solely for medicinal purposes. People suffering from certain conditions would be allowed up to four ounces of their medicine and sales on it would be taxed at a rate of 8 percent.

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Missouri's D.C. Representatives Fight for Corporate Right to Put God in Your Uterus

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Sen. Roy Blunt is leading the way to put God in your uterus.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the Hobby Lobby case that seeks to answer the question of whether a corporation can restrict a woman's access to health care on religious grounds -- and not a single Missouri representative in Washington has spoken out against it.

Hobby Lobby, a retail chain owned by an upstanding Christian family that sells cheap arts and crafts products made by the hands of sweatshop-bound Chinese laborers who are sometimes forced to have abortions due to their communist country's one-child policy, doesn't want its female employees to have affordable access to emergency contraception, such as Plan B and IUDs, which are known to be amazingly effective and safe birth control devices. Unfortunately, the religious knickknack giant believes these medications and devices induce abortions. They don't.

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Missouri "Medical Marijuana Refugee" Explains Why She Had to Leave the Show-Me State

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via Youtube
Jacqueline Patterson
When Jacqueline Patterson took her first toke of marijuana at the age of fourteen, she experienced what it was like to be without pain for the first time in her life. It's also why she eventually had to leave Missouri.

Patterson was born with cerebral palsy. The muscles on the right side of her body are significantly weaker and less developed than her left, and she speaks with a severe stutter, or as she prefers to call it, a "speech spasm." Medical marijuana, Patterson says, has helped her deal with the pain her medical condition causes every day of her life, and it also helps with her speech. When she smokes, her brain doesn't feel as rushed, and she's able to get the words out easier, she says.

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