MISSOURI: Missouri’s 2016 ballot could be filled with weed.
Competing proposals, bolstered by growing national support, are seeking to put medical marijuana legalization on the statewide ballot. If approved, Missouri would join 23 other states that have done so.
Proponents have an uphill battle. First they need to collect 168,000 valid signatures from at least six of the state’s nine congressional districts. Then they need to win approval from the state’s conservative-leaning voters. Only a handful of states that have legalized medical marijuana are in the Midwest (Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan). And there’s not one in the South, the region with which Missouri has been more politically aligned over the past decade.
In addition, two competing efforts could confuse voters and create an additional hurdle for gathering signatures.
Past efforts to get such a measure on the ballot have languished and failed. This time proponents say things will be different, citing internal polls showing significant statewide support for medical marijuana along with a presidential election year that will drive a larger turnout yielding the best chance of success.