A group of Missouri activists wants to let the “monster” of marijuana out of its cage and allow it to roam freely by legalizing the plant under anarchist philosophies. Last week, Mark Pedersen and Kansas City NORML introduced a proposal aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in the Show-Me state without enforcing age restrictions, inflated taxes, or even laws against driving high.
Pedersen says weed is the ultimate “superfood,” and should not be bound by the same restrictive leash as are those filthy animals known as alcohol and cigarettes. “I believe that cannabis needs to be as legal as corn or wheat,” he told the River Front Times. “We don’t want to discourage use of cannabis because it is less toxic than baby aspirin. It would be like putting an age limit on corn.”
The proposal, Petition 2016-008, seeks to legalize recreational marijuana in the state of Missouri by way of constitutional amendment. If passed, it would remove cannabis from the federal government’s Schedule I dangerous substance classification, as well as free any prisoner incarcerated for a marijuana-related offense.
Interestingly, the initiative goes where no other plan to legalize weed has gone before, by prohibiting a positive field sobriety test for marijuana from resulting in a DUI. “Cannabinoid metabolites remain in a person’s system for days, even weeks after consumption” said Pedersen. “Testing positive [for marijuana] has no bearing on an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.”
While it may be realistic for this effort to gain support against the issue of arresting stoned drivers, it might not be as easy to convince voters to legalize an all-age recreational marijuana market. Unlike Colorado and Washington, where marijuana is legal for adults 21 and over, Pedersen’s initiative does not have an age limit. However, the motive behind this seemingly irresponsible element of the plan is about giving children access to medicine.
Pedersen’s plan would make medical marijuana tax-free to ensure families can afford the medicine they need, whether it is for adults or children. The initiative also does not limit the number of plants a person is allowed to grow for personal use.
Pederson and his KC NORML cronies must collect around 160,000 signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot, which could prove to be a difficult task, especially since Show-Me Cannabis is also collecting signatures to legalize a more conservative initiative that will likely be easier for the people of Missouri to swallow.