Support Decriminalization in Springfield!

John Payne
June 20, 2012 | John Payne

Show-Me Cannabis Regulation is proud to announce that we are supporting an initiative in Springfield that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis. This measure will save Springfield’s taxpayers thousands of dollars in law enforcement expenses every year, and — more importantly — save hundreds of peaceful Springfield citizens from arrest and the curse of a criminal record. Our Springfield initiative is modeled upon an initiative that was approved 61 percent of voters in Columbia, Missouri in 2004 and has effectively limited the damage of cannabis prohibition in the city over the past eight years.

Springfield voters looking to sign the petition can visit Good Vibes on West College, Mr. Eddies Headies on South Avenue, Bilbo’s Earth Store on West Republic Road, or Soundsmart on East Battlefield.

The initiative would also have an impact on the larger debate over cannabis policy in the state of Missouri and may even make waves in the national debate as well. If an initiative to decriminalize marijuana passes in Springfield, which is commonly perceived to be the most conservative city in the state, it would show that the people of Missouri are ready to move beyond the failed policy of cannabis prohibition. It will also keep marijuana policy in the public consciousness, and the more voters are exposed to this issue, the more likely they are to support legalizing and regulating cannabis like alcohol. We do not believe that decriminalization is the ideal policy, but anything that saves peaceful cannabis users from the horrors of arrests and a criminal records is a step in the right direction!

Decriminalization measures are moving forward in a number of states and cities across the country right now. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation that, if passed by the legislature, will decriminalize the public display of small amounts of marijuana. Last week alone, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed a bill that removes criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less of cannabis, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel introduced a plan to decriminalize the possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana.

Here in Missouri, we have made tremendous strides towards ending the senseless war on marijuana over the last year, but we need to keep moving forward. And we need your help to do that. Local Show-Me Cannabis Regulation volunteers led by board member Maranda Reynolds and field coordinator Trish Bertrand are already collecting signatures. We are also working with a professional signature gathering firm that can easily collect the 2,101 valid signatures we need to put the measure on the November ballot, but we need at least $6,000 to make that happen.

A large institutional donor, the National Cannabis Coalition (NCC), supports this campaign, but they want us to show them that the measure has grassroots support. Accordingly, NCC has promised to match every dollar we raise for the project, so if you donate now, you can double your impact! With your partnership, we can easily bring the issue before the voters of Springfield. Will you help us make the city of Springfield a better, freer place to live, while also helping move the fight to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri forward? If so, please donate today!

Thank you for your support,
John Payne