Show-Me Cannabis, the organization fighting to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri, held a fundraising event over the weekend to coincide with an important piece of history that both lawmakers and cannabis advocates should never forget—the repeal of alcohol prohibition.
The fifth of December marked the 81st anniversary of the federal government lifting its ban on the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, a move that put an end to nearly 14 dry years here in the so-called Land of the Free. This sober spell, however, is nothing in comparison to the almost eight-decade-long scourge on America known as pot prohibition, which has revealed itself to be a scandalous policy that has ruined countless lives through incarceration and violence.
It is for this very reason that pot supporters gathered last Friday at the Mad Art Gallery in St. Louis for the 1920s themed Show-Me Cannabis “Repeal Day Party.” The organization has been hosting semi-regular events to raise the necessary funds needed to finance the grueling task of getting a recreational marijuana initiative in front of voters in 2016.
Interestingly, the overall vibe of the room was that it is highly likely that Missouri could end up being the first state in the Bible belt to legalize a recreational pot market similar to Colorado and Washington – a bold sentiment that is not only felt by state supporters, but across the nation as well.
Michael R. Hughes, an Oregon criminal defense attorney and staunch critic of the War on Drugs, said last week that Show-Me Cannabis is one of the strongest anti-prohibition associations in the United States, one with more than a fighting chance to legalize weed in 2016. The group has been building momentum in Missouri for the past several years, and with a signature collecting campaign, currently underway, to put an initiative on the ballot in the next presidential election, the consensus is that marijuana will not be prohibited in the Show-Me state much longer.
In fact, when High Times asked those in attendance of the event if they believe Missouri is poised to become one of the next states to legalize marijuana, the majority answered with an overwhelming battle cry of enthusiasm. “If we get the initiative on the ballot, it will definitely pass,” said Spencer Pearson, a Show-Me Cannabis volunteer and host of the ‘Bowl After Bowl’ podcast.
The Repeal Day Party began Friday evening with a VIP reception, followed by an awards ceremony, in which Show-Me Cannabis presented the family of deceased Representative Rory Ellinger with a first-time honor to commemorate the late lawmaker’s extraordinary efforts to pass pot-friendly legislation in the state of Missouri. Representative Ellinger died earlier this year shortly after he was diagnosed with liver cancer. “My father would have been humbled by this award,” said Maggie Ellinger-Locke, standing alongside her mother, and Representative Ellinger’s wife of 35 years, Linda Locke.
At the front of the gallery, representatives with POW 420, an organization that supports prisoners serving life sentences for pot, were on hand to display binders full of inmate correspondence, all of which shows just how vile and despicable the war on marijuana really is. “I still don’t understand why I have a punishment that is so cruel and unusual,” reads a letter from Jeffery Mizanskey, who is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole in the state of Missouri for possession of marijuana.
In November, Show-Me Cannabis filed the necessary paperwork to make a constitutional amendment that would establish a taxed and regulated marijuana market in Missouri. If voters approve the amendment, citizens over the age of 21 will be allowed to cultivate, sell, and consume cannabis products without living in fear of a law enforcement shakedown. The organization must collect around 165,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot in the 2016 election.