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Missouri ballot push to legalize marijuana begins

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Following Missouri’s statewide war on synthetic pot, which saw a law passed to ban the products, the state is now potentially on its way to having the nation’s most lax genuine-pot laws. The secretary of state’s office announced on Monday that Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, a marijuana legalization advocacy group, has been granted permission to collect signatures for a pair of ballot initiatives that would make pot legal.

The petitions would legalize pot for everyone 21 and older, allow doctors to recommend marijuana use for medical purposes, release imprisoned Missourians convicted of nonviolent pot-related crimes, and pave the way for the state to tax $100 on every pound of pot. The group must collect signatures from 5 percent of the state’s registered voters in six congressional districts in order for the question to appear on the 2012 ballot.

Despite the backlash on synthetic cannabinoids and the steep signature requirements, this might be the best time for legalization activists to strike. A recent Gallup poll shows that, for the first time, the majority of Americans support legalizing weed.

In other doobie news, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports that a citation for marijuana possession given to Gov. Jay Nixon’s son, Wilson, a junior at Mizzou, has been dropped. An assistant city prosecutor told the paper, “The facts of the case were inadequate to support a charge beyond a reasonable doubt.” The misdemeanor citation for possession of less than 35 grams of pot had been issued after police investigated a loud apartment party in Columbia and saw marijuana.

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