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Since the president of Missouri NORML Dan Viets’ and NAM introduced their new Act proposals numbered SOS #s MO2016-134 and MO2016-135, into the secretary of states office to change the constitution, there has been a shift of battles, so it seems. Instead of fighting for the re legalization of the cannabis plant, it seems a battle between proposals has ensued. The battle brewing is a curios one. The corporate world, NORML, Show Me Cannabis and New approach Missouri (supporting 2016-134 and 2016-135)against the grassroots groups, that are growing by the minute that support the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection act SOS # MO2016-013.

In a recent article written by Russ Belville, found here in High Times and another write-up in the POPs comment section, Russ decided to challenge Lynn Kempen’s write-up, named TOXIC PROPOSALS: Why is NORML, Show Me Cannabis, and New Approach supporting prohibition? What I find interesting and blog-worthy is that Russ has very little to say about the concerns about NAM’s proposal Lynn raised and seemed to go onto the attack of a personal nature instead. Will this be the new “NAM war”?

The following is Lynns response.

Opponents of limited “medical only”, continued-cannabis-prohibition proposals are hardly limited to western states. Ohio’s measure failed because voters opposed Big Government profiteering prohibitionists purporting feined “legalization,” just like New Approach Missouri’s will.



I’m the author of the analysis entitled “Toxic Proposal” that ripped apart New Approach Missouri’s Big-Government/certain-medical-conditions-only/continued cannabis-prohibition proposal. Opposing terrible ballot initiatives that put prohibition INTO our Constitution, hardly constitutes “being AGAINST legalization.” Additionally, I don’t even consume cannabis; thus calling me “Stoners Against Legalization” exposes Russ Belville’s lack of credibility, twice, at the very beginning of his comment.

Russ Belville could not refute the numerous valid concerns I pointed out in New Approach Missouri’s (NAM’s) proposed pro-Big-Government, Reformation of Prohibition, Constitutional Amendment, so he fabricated lies in a failed attempt to change the subject. Belville claims NAM’s proposal protects cannabis consumers, when it actually puts cannabis prohibition INTO our Constitution. Apparently Belville does not understand the purpose of our Constitution, or how difficult it is to modify something after it is placed into the Constitution; or perhaps he does understand, but simply lacks ethical integrity.

Any tiny infraction of NAM’s limited-medical-only proposal, which widely opens the doors to limitless rules and regulations pertaining to medical cannabis, may be met with limitless penalties. NAM’s proposed new BIG Government bureaucracy will ensure only a select few will ever be able to cultivate, handle, or access this non-toxic, miraculous plant. This proposed new Big Government bureaucracy will be Constitutionally protected from any disagreement to their authority.

A possible $8 trillion penalty was cited to make that point; limitless means without limit. NAM’s proposal puts LIMITLESS authority into the hands of DHSS. Belville asks, “why don’t they just declare that the penalty is $10 quadrillion and bamboo shoots under the fingernails?” That was essentially the point; I (or more importantly DHSS) could.

NAM’s proposal gives the Dept. of Health and Senior Services UNLIMITED authority to decide the penalties for ANY infraction of their LIMITLESS authority to enact yet-to-be-established rules and regulations; and they want to put THAT into our Constitution! That’s crazy!

For example, the penalty for having slightly over their arbitrary limits of cannabis could be set at $10,000, $100,000, or $10 quadrillion; that will be left entirely up to the unelected Department of Health and Senior Services, and their authority to do so will be protected by our Constitution if this cannabis prohibition proposal were to ever be enacted.

Belville in his ignorance doesn’t understand that cannabis is a super food, containing all essential amino acids and all essential fatty acids the human body requires to survive. Cannabis is a neuroprotect (the US gov’t holds a patent on it for this), and it staves off cancer while protecting healthy cells. But even more importantly, Belville doesn’t understand that cannabis is nontoxic. Even the tomato plant (in the nightshade family) is more toxic than cannabis. Cannabis is literally safer than water. Why SHOULDN’T this non-toxic plant be treated and regulated like any other food? Why shouldn’t cannabis be treated like a tomato plant? Belville suggests that treating cannabis like a tomato plant is “Hippy-Dippy” and crazy, yet Belville offers no substantial facts to support his juvenile name-calling, and ignorant fears, while feigning, along with NAM, to be a proponent of legalization.

Why should only a select few be “permitted” to pay tens of thousands of dollars to the government for the possible privilege of being “allowed” to grow or profit from this non-toxic plant? Per NAM’s proposed initiative, subjective criteria may be used by Big Government to extend the “opportunity” to purchase costly permits to a select few to profit from this plant. That is elitism, and prohibition profiteering to the very core.

I encourage you to actually read NAM’s awful Constitutional Amendment for yourselves (just google Missouri Secretary of State Petitions, and NAM’s proposal is 2016-134 and/or 2016-135)

Calling liberal and conservative supporters of actual legalization measures “hippie-dippy,” is further indication NAM’s proposal will never get anywhere, unless they resort to fraud (a distinct possibility.) Russ Belville insults the liberal base, while not having any understanding of conservatives’ loathing of Big-Government.

While Russ Belville accuses those who support ACTUAL legalization of “working with the cops, courts, rehabs, drug testers, and prison guards to maintain the status quo of prohibition,” it is fascinating that New Approach Missouri”has gotten financial support from those very groups in:
* the alcohol industry($41,000 in 2015),
* the pharmaceutical industry (political support),
* substance abuse counselors ($49,000 in 2015),
* and numerous members of the Bar Association,
all of whom stand to profit from NAM’s proposed prohibition measure, which stands in opposition to ACTUAL legalization.

Yet the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act didn’t gather funding from ANY such entities. Belville’s accusations are classic of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

Missouri was one of the largest producers of hemp through the 1950’s. NAM’s over-priced out-of-state polling survey is not as reflective of Missouri sentiment as you wish to purport. Missouri is a very unique state, and national political strategists are not privy to the passion many Missourians have, particularly on this subject. Rather than help educate the masses, NAM is promoting and funding their limited medical-only prohibitionist measure by using funds raised under the premise they would be used to FIGHT prohibition, NOT PUT PROHIBITION INTO OUR VERY CONSITUTION!

Hiding behind the name “New Approach Missouri” is absolutely insulting to the MANY people who contributed to Missouri NORML and Show Me Cannabis for the purposes of fighting prohibition.

Russ Belville professes cannabis “impairs the development of children’s brains,” yet scientific data overrides Belville’s claims. This is the Show Me State, Russ – please SHOW ME scientific proof of that, so we can examine the integrity of such a new study, as well as its funding sources.

Cannabis has proven very effective in treating ADHD in both children and adults. Numerous studies show cannabis use in teens and young adults has no negative effect on IQ (Journal of Psycopharmacology for example) and the rare study that declared such was later revealed to have flawed methodology. Evidence shows that when other factors (socio-economic, family circumstance, etc.) are taken into account, cannabis can actually have a slightly positive effect on cognitive function.
So please, Russ Belville, provide some basis for your sensational claims, to at least try to redeem some semblance of credibility for yourself.

Despite decades of scientific studies commissioned to reveal how awful and injurious cannabis can be, every credible study has come up blank, and, if anything, revealed positive effects of cannabis consumption. Cannabis is non-toxic, nutritious, useful and medicinally miraculous. Why SHOULDN’T we be able to freely grow it in our backyards?! Moreover, why would you put PROHIBITION of the ability to cultivate cannabis in your backyard, and PROHIBITION of eligible patients to extract the healing oils from the plant themselves, INTO OUR VERY CONSTITUTION?!! The Constitution is intended to protect the rights of the people, and to limit government, not the other way around!!

New Approach Missouri’s proposal won’t go down in flames; it is already dead in the water. Their plan to hire folks off Craig’s List to gather valid signatures is laughable; didn’t NORML learn ANYTHING from their previous campaign mistakes? Their hired guns insult the liberal base, calling them “Hippy-Dippy”, and yet they will never secure the essential conservative vote with New Approach Missouri’s Big Government,/protect-Big-Pharma/anti-gun/elitist prohibition-profiteering proposal daring to impose this kind of crap into our very Constitution. Missouri is not ready for THAT kind of liberal idiocy.

Dan Viet’s claimed the people of Missouri are “too stupid to vote for” the full legalization ballot initiative (petition 2016-013) that he admitted at the 2015 Missouri Libertarian Convention was “better” than his. Dan Viets was wrong about Missouri voters, but right about the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act.

New Approach Missouri’s plan may bring SOME cannabis to a SELECT FEW patients, but AT WHAT COST? Their Big-Government proposal has open-ended room for limitless requirements and limitless penalties for rule infractions, yet to be established by their new GIANT bureaucracy, and protects such bureaucracy with limitless authority provided IN OUR VERY CONSTITUTION!

THAT, Russ Belville, is absurd. New Approach Missouri’s proposal would regulate those who wish to utilize this non-toxic nutritious plant into prison cell blocks, the poor house, and/or the grave; and that, New Approach Missouri, is UNACCEPTABLE.


 
 
   ANALYSIS OF MISSOURI PETITIONS (2016-134 and 2016-135)

By Pat and Lynn Kempen



INTRODUCTION:
New Approach Missouri, NORML and Show Me Cannabis support these positively horrendous Constitutional Amendments, despite their disingenuous claims that they are fighting cannabis prohibition.

Bear in mind, the purpose of the Constitution is to establish limitations of government, and to protect the rights of we-the-people from oppressive government overreach.  These proposals (Missouri Petitions 2016-134 and 2016-135) are utterly antithetical to the very nature and intent of our Constitution.

The following analysis of these PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS (which are essentially identical except for where they are to be inserted in the Missouri Constitution), points out specific areas where these proposals would utterly fail the people of Missouri, and particularly those in need of cannabis as medicine.  These Constitutional proposals would grow Big Government in Missouri to outrageous and virtually limitless proportion with regard to the use and regulation of cannabis, and Constitutionally protect the State’s right to do so.

3.(1) Grows the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) into a government bureaucratic monstrosity.

3.(1) (b) This Constitutional provision grants DHSS authority to promulgate virtually limitless and absurd rules and “emergency rules” with regard to regulating and controlling the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of cannabis for medicinal use; and limitless rules and emergency rules for enforcing such rules.

3.(2)  Authorizes DHSS to issue “ANY” (virtually limitless) rules or emergency rules to implement and enforce this Constitutional provision.

3.(2)(a) Authorizes DHSS to issue “ANY” (virtually limitless) rules with regard to enforcement of this the limitations and mandates of this Constitutional provision, including rules regarding  “grounds  for denying, suspending, fining, restricting, or revoking a state license” issued for medical cannabis.

3.(2)(c) Authorizes DHSS to issue rules  relating to “instructions or guidance for local authorities and law enforcement officers.”  So DHSS, a non-elected agency, with no particular proficiency with regard to cannabis, will be instructing local authorities and law enforcement with regard to the handling of cannabis.

3.(2) (d) Authorizes DHSS to issue virtually limitless requirements for inspections, investigations, searches, seizures and additional (LIMITLESS) enforcement activities regarding tracking cannabis “from seed to sale,” and to do so as often “as may become necessary from time to time.”  It might as well say “whenever we feel like it, you will have to jump this high as we tell you.”  This language is not worthy of our Constitution!

NORML is giving me a new reason to paranoid.


Image provided by NORML.

Am I the only one who see’s  a conflict here?

3.(2)(e) Authorizes DHSS to create a “range of administrative penalties” for DHSS to use with regard to cannabis.  DHSS will apparently be grown into a new arm of punitive law enforcement.

3.(2)(f)  Authorizes DHSS to make limitless rules relating to “Prohibition of misrepresentation and unfair practices.”
This verbiage is unspecific and completely subjective.
Does this verbiage really need to be added to our Constitution?
I contend this is already covered by common sense, and existing laws.

3.(2)(g) Authorizes DHSS to issue limitless rules regarding “Control of informational and product displays on licensed premises;”
DHSS will have total control over free speech regarding information regarding cannabis at “licensed premises.”  Check your First Amendment right with regard to cannabis at the boundaries of any property licensed for cannabis.

3.(2)(h) any employee, contractor or support staff of any “licensed” facility will have to have their fingerprints taken and, per FBI testimony, entered into the criminal (not civil) fingerprint data base.  (The government just keeps building their data bases.) source:https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/fbi-fingerprint-program.


Image provided by NORML

3.(2)(i) Authorizes DHSS to make ANY rules regarding security requirements for any licensed premises, including “at minimum”, “lighting, physical security, video, alarm requirements, any other minimum procedures, reporting requirements of any change whatsoever to the licensed premises.   DHSS will have authority to make ANY rule, and rules for enforcement of their rules, and the rules are virtually limitless and could be made outright ridiculous.  Rules and requirements for licensed facilities may make it completely cost-prohibitive, and there is nothing to stop DHSS, because they will be Constitutionally authorized to make ANY rules with regard to requirements, as well as penalties.

3.(2)(j) Authorizes DHSS to make ANY rules regarding to storing and transportation of cannabis.  For example, armed vehicles could be required to transport it, or armed vehicles that fly, or maybe cannabis will only be able to be transported by submarine!  DHSS has Constitutionally protected authority to make ANY rule with regard to this.

3.(2)(k) Authorizes DHSS to make limitless sanitary requirements for cannabis infused products.  For example, DHSS could require anyone in a facility where cannabis infused products are made be vaccinated for whatever new-fangled vaccination DHSS wants to require.  They could require hazmat suits be worn throughout the facility.  The limitless requirements DHSS will be Constitutionally authorized to impose will undoubtedly astronomically increase the cost to the consumer, to have any “right” to this medicinal weed.

3.(2)(l) Authorizes DHSS to issue ANY rules regarding what will be acceptable forms of picture identification for verifying any sale of cannabis.  This could include bio-metric identification, RFID chip in that identification, and/or an international passport, or some entirely new photo identification just for this purpose, and DHSS could set any fee they want to charge for such identification.

3.(2)(o) Authorizes DHSS to issue ANY rules for State licensing procedures, and the payment of those licensing fees.  DHSS could mandate that all licenses be paid by money order (initial cost to become a licensed Dispensary facility, is minimally $23,000 just for licensing fees, not including any equipment, product, or surveillance equipment, which can be required without limit.)

3.(2)(r) Authorizes DHSS to make ANY rules with regard to “Such other matters as are necessary for the fair, impartial, STRINGENT, and comprehensive administration of this section.”
This provides DHSS limitless authority to issue virtually limitless rules with regard to access to cannabis and the ability to propagate it; and Constitutionally protects DHSS’s right to do so.

3.(4) Authorizes DHSS to maintain confidentiality of all the info they gather with regard to licensing (facilities, and patients), but “Any information released related to patients may be used only for purposes authorized by federal law.”  Federal and State law are readily amendable.
Furthermore, the Dept. of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have already weighed in on the matter of States with medical marijuana laws:  Any person who uses marijuana, “regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana for use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”  Bye-bye 2ndamendment if you are an eligible patient under this proposed Constitutional Amendment; you will have no right to possess firearms or ammunition.  The ATF or other agencies can demand the list of eligible patients, which DHSS will have in a neatly compiled database, and issue felony weapon possession arrest warrants for any eligible patients with registered guns.   
The DEA can also demand the list of eligible patients, which DHSS will have in a neatly compiled database, for the purpose of issuing warrants for felony possession of “marijuana”.

3.(7) GROWING FACILITIES will be limited to 30,000 square feet of flowering canopy space, and outdoor licensed growing to 2,800 plants (heaven help you if 2803 pop up, cuz there is no limit set for the penalty of that!)  A cultivation license is $20,000 per year (in addition to a $3,000 non-refundable application fee, which can be required every 3 years.)
What purpose do these limitations serve?
* This jeopardizes growing facilities with limitless penalties and limitless enforcement of such penalties, if a violation is to occur.  DHSS could potentially declare the penalty for having one single plant too many in a growing facility is $8,000,000,000,000, and they’d be Constitutionally protected in doing so! 
* This limits the practical economies of scale that larger production offers, and it dramatically increases the cost of the end-product, solely for the purpose of the state’s gain, at the expense of patients.
This license will be renewable “except for good cause,” which is a nebulous legal term that can mean anything, and which attorneys will have a hay day with.
Any larger growing operation requires additional permits separate permit ($20,000/year plus the $3,000 non-refundable application fee.)
Do we really want this micromanagement of business in OUR CONSTITUTION?! 
The Constitution is intended to protect the rights of citizens, not micromanage business for purposes of State government profit!



3.(8) DISPENSARY FACILITIES will pay a $3,000 non-refundable application fee (every 3 years), PLUS a $10,000 annual licensing fee.  Again, this license is renewable “except for good cause” which is completely subjective and nebulous, and attorneys can have a hay day with.

3.(9) CANNABIS INFUSED PRODUCT MANUFACTURING FACILITIES will pay a $3,000 non-refundable application fee (every 3 years), and a $10,000 annual fee.  Each facility requires a separate license, and since DHSS is Constitutionally being authorized to make ANY rule, they could require every individual product have a separate license and application, making cannabis infused products cost-prohibitive.
*Again, the license is renewable “except for good cause,” which is completely subjective and nebulous, and attorneys will love that.

3.(10) “Except for good cause,” gives qualifying patients the right to purchase an ID card from DHSS (for $100/year,) to cultivate up to 6 flowering plants (heaven help ya if a 7th plant flowers, cuz there is NO LIMIT to what the penalty, or means of enforcement of such penalty, will be), for the exclusive use of the patient.  This is in addition to the patient ID (another $25/year) that we haven’t gotten to yet.
*”Except for good cause” is entirely subjective, and patients may be denied and ID card for whatever rule DHSS dictates; the patient then has the right to litigate (more $$).
*Nothing would stop DHSS from imposing an application fee of ANY sum, to go along with this ID.
*Nothing would stop DHSS from creating rules that patient cultivators be required to have extensive, industrial, surveillance and alarm systems, making growing one’s own “up to 6” medicinal cannabis plants cost-prohibitive.

3.(11) Authorizes DHSS to limit quantity (though no less than 6 ounces of dried, unprocessed, or its equivalent) of cannabis purchases by a single patient (minimally 6 ounces dried, unprocessed, or its equivalent) for a 30 day period, unless at least 2 independent physicians have provided certification the qualifying patient needs a great amount than the limit.
* Every doctor visit is an additional expense for the patient (typically $100-$300).
* Penalty for being over said possession limit is unspecified, and thus could be set at exorbitant sums, by DHSS; and DHSS will be Constitutionally protected in doing so. 

3.(12) POSSESSION LIMITATIONS:  This section is complete micromanagement of patients in need of cannabis, as well as creating a costly burden of required medical documentation for seriously ill patients.  For example, a cancer patient, requiring significant quantities of cannabis (oils, juicing the raw leaf, and dried) to treat their disease, may be Constitutionally prohibited from continuing cannabis treatment by DHSS, stripped of their cannabis patient ID card for up to a year, as well as fined administrative penalties (which are LIMITLESS per the way this proposal is written,) for exceeding the arbitrary “legal limit” of cannabis imposed by this Act if they do not have at least TWO physicians certifying compelling reasons for their need to exceed the arbitrary medical possession limits imposed by this Act.
This is NOT what our Constitution is for!!!
NOTE:  This section deems that possessing more than the legal limit (which does not specify THC amount) dictated in this act is punishable with an “administrative penalty” (undefined and limitless) and loss of their patient ID for up to a year (keeping the patient in need from this natural medicinal non-toxic plant they so need.)
Furthermore, this section of the proposal dictates that “Possessing amounts in excess of twice the legal limit shall be punishable by IMPRISONMENT of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,000.”
So, potentially, the penalty for possessing over the limit but under twice the limit of cannabis, could be greater than that of possession of more than twice this arbitrary legal limit.
Is this what our Constitution is for?  Imprisoning patients for accessing a non-toxic, healthful, weed?
Jailed patients, btw, do not have any right to access medicinal cannabis, even if they require it to stop seizures, or to treat cancer (see Section 7(1)(a))
Why ANY “legalization” movement would intentionally put THIS verbiage into their Constitutional Amendment is noteworthy, and indicative of their allegiance, which is not to citizens or patients.
We need to ask ourselves, WHO does this Constitutional proposal benefit?  
I’d like to know who the victim is, if a patient has over DHSS’s arbitrary limits (it is not as though Dept. of Health and Senior Services is in any way expert on facts regarding cannabis, yet they will be authorized to regulate it entirely.)

3.(13) Limits Cultivation Facilities to 1 per 80,000 citizens if DHSS so desires.  Christian County would thus be entitled to only 1 cultivation license (barely, as CC population is just 80,899) if DHSS so declared, regardless of whether insufficient quantities of medicinal cannabis are available to patients in need.
This section goes on to have DHSS rank new applicants via highly subjective criteria (subject to fraud and political “favors”) while pushing the Dept. of Health and Senior Services into the field of Finance and Marketing, tasking it with determining “economic impact” and “maintaining competitiveness in the marijuana for medical use marketplace.”
Talk about giving license for BIG GOVERNMENT to get even bigger!

3.(14) limits licenses for medical cannabis infused product manufacturing facilities to 1 per 50,000 residents if DHSS so chooses.  What is more concerning than this random numerical restriction is, again, the completely subjective criteria (like “acceptance in the site community”) for ranking new applicants for such licensing.

3.(15) pertains to further subjective ranking of licensing Dispensary Facilities, but this section puts new entrepreneurs at a specific disadvantage to any entity that already has experience in the “health care” (aka Big Pharma) industry.   
Ranking Facilities by their “acceptance in the site community,” is entirely subjective.  Such subjectivity breeds corruption, and is being placed in the very Constitution.

3.(16)  This one is just stupid.  If DHSS fails to approve your Cultivation, Dispensary, or Infused Product Manufacturing application (which you paid a non-refundable $3,000 fee for) within 150 day of submitting it, you can “seek a court order compelling DHSS to approve or deny the application.”  So you’ll be out $3,000 PLUS you’ll be paying court costs to have DHSS provide you a denial notice.  How witty of members of the Bar Association to place this in our very CONSTITUTION!  Clearly this Amendment is drafted to enrich the Bar Association and its member attorneys and judges, further clogging up our judicial system, and raking in counsel fees and court fees.

3.(17) If DHSS unjustly fails to issue the $25/year ID card to an eligible patient for access to medicinal cannabis, then that patient only has the Constitutional right to access medicinal cannabis if they get “physician certification” every 30 days or less  (office visits  generally $100-300).   At least that is how I understand it, from how clumsily this is worded.  The patient has the right to appeal DHSS’s denial through the Administrative Hearing Commission, and if they are denied there, the patient has the “right” to take the matter to court, bearing in mind that possession of ANY cannabis remains federally prohibited by law. Additionally any judge (who is an elected official) can’t “interfere with DHSS, directly or indirectly” with regard to any of this, so the patient/citizen is Constitutionally prohibited from finding relief opposing DHSS through litigation (Clearly, this garbage of a proposed Constitutional Amendment was written by attorneys FOR attorneys.)

3.(18) Primary caregivers (of patients being treated with cannabis) will need be listed with DHSS and required to also buy a $25 annual ID card from DHSS.  Caregivers can’t be touchin’ this non-toxic, natural plant without proper identification that the State must collect money for!  Though DHSS reserves the right to deny anyone such permit, and they have Constitutional authority per this act, to create ALL the rules.  If a caregiver does not have proper ID, the penalties for any arbitrary rule infraction are limitless!

3.(21) acknowledges that any appeal of denial of licensing or ID cards will be “subject to judicial review as provided by law” (of which “law” includes and is still subject to the federal Controlled Substances Act, deeming “marijuana” to be a controlled substance of the worst degree with no accepted medicinal applications.  Cannabis possession remains a felony, so there is your “judicial review as provided by law.”)  As I said, the Bar Association will have a hay day with all this, while we-the-people will be trampled on, and pay, Pay, PAY, with every step we take.  But, 3.(22) in this measure states “no elected official” can “interfere” directly or indirectly with DHSS’s activities under this section (judges are elected officials), the eligible patient that is denied a patient ID or cultivator ID by has no legal recourse, as any right to challenge DHSS before a judge is rendered defunct, if this measure is adopted into the Missouri Constitution. 

3.(22) This is a rather strange addition to the Constitution.  “No elected official shall interfere directly or indirectly with DHSS’s obligations and activities under this section.”
*Some Health Department positions are publicly elected positions; so under this Constitutional measure, elected Health Department officials can’t interfere with non-elected Health Department officials.
*This measure also deems the US President, and the MO Governor, State legislators, Congress, and JUDGES, have absolutely no authority to touch whatever DHSS does under this Constitutional measure.  So all the “judicial review as provided by law” is essentially defunct. So, DHSS is now essentially God, if this measure is adopted into the Missouri Constitution.



4.(1)  This Constitutionally mandates a 4% tax on medical marijuana (unlike other pharmaceuticals, which are tax exempt.)  Why should the State be granted the Constitutional right to tax medicinal cannabis, while unnatural pharmaceutical medications are tax exempt?  
*This section specifies that “after retaining no more than 5% of actual collection costs” of DHSS’s virtually limitless authority to regulate this plant, the rest of the funds raised by this tax will go to Veteran Services.  Understanding how bureaucracy breeds waste, and this Constitutional measure turns DHSS into a bureaucratic monstrosity, is this not reason for DHSS to maximize “collection costs”?  
* Having this proposal give part of the taxes collected to the VA is shameless pandering for Do-good Brownie points.  The real irony is that the VA does not prescribe cannabis for patients (as cannabis remains a Schedule 1 Controlled substance, federally prohibited, and the VA is a federal institution), it also has taken the position of refusing narcotic pain relief to veterans who test positive for cannabis.
* This proposal’s failure to address the Scheduling of Controlled Substances ultimately renders this Constitutional Amendment void.  

4.(2)(b)  This Constitutional proposal mandates “the Missouri Veterans Commission SHALL contract with other public agencies for delivery of services beyond its expertise.”  Why should cannabis re-legalization Constitutionally dictate Veteran Services?
Veterans I know would simply appreciate access to cannabis, without all the fees and regulation.
A portion of the 4% tax collected from medical cannabis sales MAY end up going to Veteran Services, depending on how expensive this new bureaucratic DHSS monstrosity is (DHSS can keep 5% of its “collection costs.”  Knowing how bureaucracy works, that is incentive to increase collection costs and corruption, and they intend to have it placed in our very Constitution.)

4.(3) mandates records of sale for medicinal use be kept for 5 years.
The federal government will have a database of all medical cannabis patients ready at their disposal to issue warrants for arrest for the possession of a federally prohibited substance, as well as felony weapons charges if any of them are registered gun owners.
WHY would an entity professing to promote legalization put THIS into a Constitutional measure?
The Constitution is intended to protect we-the-people FROM government infringement on our rights, not to impose government infringement ON our rights.

4.(4) This section Constitutionally authorizes state and local government to impose ANY general state and local sales and use taxes on retail medicinal cannabis sales, WITHOUT LIMIT,in addition to the 4% sin tax imposed by this measure.

4.(5) This section is essentially negated by 4.(4).
It is completely ineffectual and a waste of verbiage being thrown into our Constitution.

5.(1) Terribly worded; I’ll leave it at that. This is just BAD.

5.(4) “legal standards of professional conduct” is subjective, amendable, and limitless. BAD

5.(5) “legal standards of professional conduct” is subjective, amendable, and limitless. BAD

5.(6) This one is UNBELIEVABLE.  It states “A health care provider shall NOT be subject to mandatory reporting requirements” for medical cannabis use by minors “in a manner consistent with this section and with consent of a parent or guardian.”  Did you catch that?  I thought NewApproachMissouriNORML, and ShowMeCannabis were on all bent on the importance of keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors, and here they specify IN THE CONSTITUTION that health care providers can not be required to report medical cannabis prescribed to minors!  Use by adults will have mandatory reporting requirements, but use by minors, and any effects (good or bad) cannot be required to be reported in a manner consistent with this section.

5.(7)  This section tries to alleviate primary caregivers from criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Missouri law, but it fails to address the fact that Cannabis remains on the federal list of Controlled Substances as a Schedule One substance; so caregivers (and everyone else) is still fully subject to federal penalties for possession of ANY of it.
This section also references “generally established legal standards of personal and professional conduct” which is entirely subjective, amendable and thereby limitless with regard to criminal penalties.



5.(8) This section is obviously written by attorneys to protect attorneys (this whole Act is; it will keep them in business for a long time.)
It states “is no longer subject to criminal penalties under state law pursuant to this section” but it offers no protection from federal law, which continues to consider “marijuana” a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, making any possession of it a felony.

5.(9) Again, this section states “shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Missouri law, except as provided by this section”, which does not address the fact “marijuana” remains a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, with felonious implications, or that DHSS is granted authority to change the rules, and penalties, and means of enforcement of those penalties at any time per this Constitutional measure.  Additionally, the “except as provided by this section,” negates the entire premise of this point, as DHSS is authorized to make ANY rules (limitless), including penalties, and means of enforcing such penalties, per this Constitutional measure.

5.(10)  This section is completely unnecessary.  Impaired driving is already illegal (Missouri Revised Statues Chapter 302 and 577).

5.(11) This Act acknowledges the fact that “medical marijuana may be prohibited by federal law,” and puts that in the Missouri Constitution.  It does nothing to thwart federal enforcement of total cannabis prohibition.

6.Constitutionally prohibits the elected Missouri legislature from enacting laws that hinder this measure, but the entire measure provides the non-elected DHSS Constitutional authority to enact rules, penalties, and enforcement of those rules and penalties.

7.(1)(a) Constitutionally prohibits patients in jail from accessing medicinal “marijuana.”  An imprisoned cancer patient will be Constitutionally denied cannabis treatment, regardless of if they need it to stop seizures or to treat their cancer.

7.(1)(b) “Nothing in this section permits a person to undertake ANY task under the influence of cannabis when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.”
The fact is, “negligence and professional malpractice” is already covered in State law.  However, the Constitutional verbiage here is dangerously vague and subjective. “Under the influence of marijuana” is undefined. “Negligence,” and “professional malpractice” are also not defined.
Any patient having taken their medically prescribed cannabis within the last month can be charged with “negligence” for being “under the influence.”
Any “professional” who consumes their medically prescribed cannabis within the last month can be charged with “professional malpractice.”

7.(1)(c) Impaired driving is already covered in State law, so the concern that people will be driving while high is nothing but unwarranted alarm-ism.
This Constitutional measure does not permit any eligible patient to “operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana”.   Any psychotropic effects of cannabis wear off within a matter of hours, but it registers in blood and urine for up to 30 days.  Since this measure fails to define what “under the influence of marijuana” is, any eligible patient who has consumed their medical marijuana within the last month can be arrested if they attempt to drive at any time.  Furthermore, this measure also fails to define what a “dangerous device is.”  A lighter could be considered a dangerous device, as could a reclining chair, and a fire extinguisher!    

7.(1)(d) This part Constitutionally protects employers’ right to terminate any employee for having cannabis in their system. 
(Why would a supposed anti-prohibition organization propose to put this type measure in the Constitution?!)

7.(4) This section authorizes counties to require additional “site permits” (at unlimited expense) to Dispensary Facilities “utilizing generally applicable permitting standards” (a completely nebulous standard).  Dispensaries may be charged unlimited millions of dollars by counties to authorize a “site-permit.  All these fees will be passed on to the consumer, dramatically raising the price of medicinal cannabis.

7.(5) Again, “appropriate and proportional Department sanction” is entirely subjective terminology.

7.(6) Why is a Missouri Constitutional Article using the Hispanic, slang, term “marijuana,” and requiring that slang Hispanic term in the boldest of letters on labelling?
Use of the term “marijuana” in this country was driven by racism, from the 1930’s propaganda campaigns promoting cannabis prohibition.  Let’s call things by their proper terms, PARTICULARLY when we are putting this in our very CONSTITUTION!
This section refers to “administrative penalty” which is dangerously left completely subjective, limitless, and changeable.

7.(7) unnecessary regulation of care-giving, regarding use of a NON-TOXIC plant – placed in OUR CONSTITUTION.  BAD!  Large families with several medicinal cannabis patients, and group-home and assisted living situations where caregivers take shifts are not addressed, and will be a nightmare per this Constitutional amendment.

7.(8) Use of medicinal cannabis in public will be Constitutionally subject to “sanctions as provided by general law.” 
Well, federal law says ANY possession is a felony.
“General law” is also left dangerously subjective, limitless, and changeable. It is utterly ridiculous.  
Medical cannabis patients could potentially be legally restricted to being house bound, if lawmakers wish to make such a “general law.” 


Really?

If this is what NORML wants, why are they backing things like this 2016-134 and 135?

7.(9) This section Constitutionally stops eligible patients from extracting the healing oils for themselves without a Medical Marijuana-Infused Product Manufacturing Facility license ($3,000 non-refundable application fee, plus $20,000 annual licensing fee, in addition to their $25 annual ID card, and whatever other fees DHSS imposes.)

7.(10) This section Constitutionally mandates that any patient that grows their “up to 6 plants” (after paying their additional $100 annual cultivation fee, and $25 patient ID card) is limited to growing their up to 6 plants in an “enclosed, locked facility equipped with security devices.”
The term “security devices” is not specified, left entirely to the discretion of DHSS rules.
DHSS will have Constitutional authority to dictate “security devices” to mean whatever type alarm surveillance system they want, making it completely cost-prohibitive for patients to grow their own 6 plants.  It potentially also puts patients into the position of being prisoners in their own home.
Large families with several patients would be further and unjustly penalized by this section proposed to the Missouri Constitution.
If cannabis helps, people should be permitted unrestricted access to it, it is non-toxic, literally safer than water!

7.(12) The beginning of this section is just stupid.  We can have a liquor store across from the elementary school here in Ozark, but a growing Facility could be prohibited.  It’s interesting that this Constitutional Amendment clarifies that “no local government” shall through the enactment of ordinances or regulation that make their operation unduly burdensome,” but it never limits DHSS from ma king “unduly burdensome” (a subjective term) rules and regulations. 
Perhaps the preface of this section was intended to bury the more pertinent part of this section, which proposes that “local governments may enact ordinances or “regulations enacted pursuant to this section governing the time, place, and manner of such facilities in the locality.”
This section has great propensity to increase litigation from prospective dispensaries against local governments, to the great pleasure of the Bar Association (fraternal order members of which drafted this very Constitutional Amendment.)

7.(13) This is one of the most egregious portions of this horrific Constitutional proposal. 
It begins with “unless superseded by federal law…” which wrongfully purports that federal law may  supersede the Missouri Constitution, negating the supposed purpose of the entire measure, as this Constitutional proposal does not address the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, this measure CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTS BIG PHARMA!!!!
It forces physicians to have at least 75% of their prescriptions be made for THEIR (Big Pharma’s pharmaceuticals, and not cannabis, even if cannabis was proven to be the best alternative for more than 25% of medical conditions!  
“In any year no physician shall issue more physician certifications than a number equivalent to 25% of their total number of for other drugs.”  
So, by CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY, at least 75% of a physician’s prescriptions MUST be for pharmaceuticals OTHER than cannabis?!  
Are you understanding this?  
As NEW CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE that 75% of physician prescriptions must be for substances OTHER THAN marijuana/cannabis?!
That 25/75 figure is completely arbitrary figure!  
The only purpose that could serve is to protect Big Pharma, which is the element that has been thwarting re-legalization for well over 45 years.
Bear in mind, this isn’t just a “law,” this is a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. 

7.(15) This, section Constitutionally protects insurance companies from EVER having to cover cannabis as medicine. 
That is NOT the purpose of our Constitution!!!!
Frankly, cannabis shouldn’t be covered by insurance on the basis it is non-toxic, should be ubiquitous, and is literally safer than water!

7.(16) By mentioning asset forfeiture in this Constitutional Amendment, this is a backhanded way of ensuring that any violation of DHSS’s subjective rules herein will be subject to asset forfeiture, and such forfeiture will be Constitutionally protected.

8.This is the cherry on top.  “if any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this measure or application thereof, is adjudged invalid by ANY court of competent jurisdiction, the other provisions shall” remain in effect.

  This is essentially stating that ANY court can WIPE OUT any or ALL of this proposal, negating whatever portions they care to, declaring it null and void.



CONCLUSION:
PLEASE, Missourians, don’t be stupid in your desperation to end cannabis prohibition;
BE VERY CAREFUL OF WHAT PETITION YOU SIGN!!!!!

This Constitutional Amendment (Missouri Petitions 2016-134 and 2016-135) is unacceptable.
It would Constitutionally protect a large degree of cannabis prohibition.
Once something is put in the Constitution, it is extremely difficult to remove or modify it.
We can’t allow this horrendously worded Big Government proposition added to our Constitution.

The excessive application, licensing, taxation, permits and other fees that can be imposed at every level of government (state, county, local), virtually without limit, will ensure that “medical marijuana” will be cost-prohibitive to many, if not most, patients in need.  It guarantees that non-elected government officials will decide who can, and who con not, enter the new and lucrative cannabis industry when the current cannabis laws are inevitably relaxed or removed.  It will make the rich richer, and the poor poorer.

If this measure is enacted,
1.) eligible medical “marijuana” patients could be forbidden from ever driving a vehicle or boat or to be physically in control any “dangerous device”;
2.) Any eligible medical “marijuana” patient could be forbidden from owning firearms or ammunition.
3.) It would Constitutionally protect any employers’ right to fire, or not hire, all eligible “medical marijuana” patients.
4.) It does nothing to hinder the federal government from accessing the State data base to arrest eligible “medical marijuana” patients for felony possession of cannabis and/or firearms.
5.) It would make medical “marijuana” cost-prohibitive to many eligible patients, penalizing people in need of this non-
toxic, medicinal, and nutritious plant.
6.) Eligible patients would be prohibited from extracting healing oils for themselves, unless they purchase cost-prohibitive licensing ($3000 non-refundable application fee, plus $10,000 annual license fee, in addition to the cost of attaining their initial patient ID card.)
7.) It would keep the vast majority of people from being able to enter the new, lucrative, cannabis industry in Missouri.
8.) It would permit the wealthy to have exclusive rights to profits from this plant, at the expense of people with medical maladies
9.) It would Constitutionally protect Big Pharma! (not we-the-people.)
10.) It demands Big Government get MUCH bigger!
11.) It will keep the prison industrial complex in business.
12.) It will keep Attorneys, the Bar Association, and the courts very busy (profiting from this measure.)

This proposal isn’t about providing access to needed NATURAL, NON-TOXIC medicine to people in need;
it is about orchestrating a racket to extract money from the people who would benefit from access to this natural, God-given, miraculous, medicinal, useful and nutritious plant, and keep them from accessing it without paying a very steep price.

Ask New Approach Missouri, NORML, and Show Me Cannabis why they are trying to Constitutionally ensure cannabis prohibition, rather than supporting cannabis legalization?

Support the only Constitutional Amendment being proposed that would REMOVE cannabis from the State Controlled Substance Scheduling List, and completely return this NON-TOXIC, miraculous, medicinal, useful and nutritious plant back to we-the-people.
Support the MISSOURI CANNABIS RESTORATION AND PROTECTION ACT.  We are well on our way to getting this proposal on the ballot, but we need your help.

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