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.

STOP THE PROHIBITION – HEMPENEERS.COM IS WORKING FOR A BETTER TOMORROW – JOIN US TODAY


Or contact us at hempenkempens@gmail.com

 
 
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You say, you support the troops,
You say, you support the rights of others
You say, you support the cure for cancer
You say, you support the betterment of mankind

Then you say, that you think cannabis, AKA marijuana, needs to be outlawed. and we have to use pills.

"ARE YOU INSANE?" Or brainwashed? Either way, it is "YOU" that is causing the pain and death of so many of your brothers and sisters.

When will you learn that there is a faction of this world that is trying to kill you, and your ignorance is helping them.

Take the time to learn more. 
Join us at WWW.hempeneers.com.
You too can help save a life.
Find a local Petitioner and help us get the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act SOS #2016-013 onto the ballot for 2016.

Help us educate those who need to hear the TRUTH. 
Please like and Share this video.

 
 
The Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act
Constitutional Amendment to Article IV, Related to Legalizing CANNABIS
2016-013

Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

One new section is adopted to be known as Article IV, Section 54 and to read as follows:

Cannabis shall immediately be removed from the Missouri Revised Statutes list of controlled substances and shall no longer be listed among Missouri’s drug schedules.
Definition of terms, as used in this Act:
“Cannabis” and “cannabis hemp” refer to the cannabis, marihuana, marijuana, cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, or any variety of cannabis, including any derivative, concentrate, extract, flower, leaf, particle, preparation, resin, root, salt, seed, stalk, stem, or any product thereof.
“Medical cannabis” refers to the medical use of cannabis.
“Personal use” refers to the non-medical consumption of cannabis.
“Cannabis accessories” means any equipment, products, or materials of any kind that are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, or for ingesting, inhaling, vaporizing, smoking or otherwise introducing cannabis into and/or onto the human body.
“Establishment” refers to a cannabis cultivation facility, a cannabis testing facility, a cannabis product manufacturing facility, or a retail cannabis store or other entity that cultivates, prepares, manufactures, packages, transports or sells cannabis, cannabis products and/or cannabis accessories.
The following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Missouri law.
Possession of cannabis for personal or medical use.
Cultivating cannabis for personal use, or in an area sufficient to produce the quantity necessary to address a patient’s needs.
Cultivation, harvesting process
Medical cannabis shall be available to patients without taxation who have a physician’s recommendation for its use.
All patients engaged in cannabis therapy shall be afforded the same rights and privileges afforded to any patient treated through conventional therapeutic means.
Licensed physicians shall not be penalized for, nor restricted from recommending cannabis for medical purposes to any person under their care.
Veterinarians shall not be penalized nor restricted from recommending cannabis for any creature under their care.
Opinions pertaining to, and willingness to recommend medical cannabis therapy shall not be a criteria for the licensure of physicians; no physician shall be subject to any professional licensing review or hearing as a result of recommending or approving medical cannabis therapy.
Any individual who is a cannabis patient in another state shall be granted the same rights and privileges as a legal Missouri cannabis patient.
Medical care, including organ transplants, shall not be restricted in any way based on a person’s use of cannabis.
The dictates of this Initiative shall be implemented no later than January 1, following the election that placed this Imitative before the people.
Upon the passage of this Act, all persons incarcerated or under supervision of the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole for non-violent, cannabis-only offenses which are no longer illegal in the state of Missouri under this Act shall immediately be released.
The Court shall order the immediate expungement of civil and criminal records pertaining to all non-violent cannabis only offenses which are no longer illegal in the State of Missouri under this Act.
Within 60 days of the passage of this Act, the Attorney General shall develop and make available to the public a legal document ordering the immediate destruction of all cannabis-related non-violent civil and criminal records in Missouri and for any offense covered by this amendment. This document shall be distributed to all Circuit Court clerks within the state.
No Missouri law enforcement personnel or state funds shall be used to assist or aid in the enforcement of federal cannabis laws involving acts which are no longer illegal in the State of Missouri under this amendment.
Any person who willfully impedes the lawful exercise of these provisions is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Cannabis farmers, manufacturers, processors, and distributors shall not be subject to any special zoning requirement, licensing fee that is excessive, discriminatory, prohibitive, or in any way contrary to that which is relative to any other commercial or agricultural farmer, manufacturer, processor or distributor.
Pursuant to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the Unites States, the people of Missouri hereby repudiate and challenge federal cannabis prohibitions that conflict with this act.
If any rival or conflicting initiative regulating any matter addressed by the act receives the higher affirmative vote, then all non-conflicting parts shall become operative
All provisions of this section are self-executing and severable, and, except where otherwise indicated in the text of this document, shall supersede conflicting city, county, state, or federal statutory, local charter, or hearing as a result of recommending or approving medical cannabis therapy.

There are multiple legalization measurements and initiatives being presented in Missouri for 2016. 
The following is a comparison of the MCRPA and other initiatives. To learn more about each please click here

The Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act 2016-013 

Other Initiatives in Missouri 
Taxation- Under the MCRPA purchase of Cannabis for recreational purposes will be subject only to standard state and local sales taxes. Purchases of Cannabis for medicinal uses are subject to NO taxes. 

In addition to state and local taxes other initiatives are proposing excise taxes up to 25%. 
o A portion of this excise tax will be going back to the police force’s pension funds. 
o Excise taxes prevent patients the ability to afford their medicine, as often times patients are on disability.

There are no residency restrictions placed with the MCRPA Initiative. 

Residency restrictions similar to those in Colorado, which require both medical and recreational users to establish residency prior to purchase. 

Dismissal of criminal records, and release from prison for all non-violent cannabis offenders. 

Very limited dismissal of criminal records for non-violent offenders, leaving thousands of citizens in legal trouble, including prison sentences.

Does not place limitation on amounts of cannabis or plants a person may possess. 
o This opens up the ability for farmers to profit from growing hemp crops, and for patients to be able to grow their own medicine. 

Places strict limits on the number of plants one person can have, to no more than 6. 
o For medical patients this limits safe access to medicine
o This does place limitation on a farmer’s ability to grow.
o Growers must pay to be licensed, costing taxpayers even more money. 

Bans state police and law enforcement personnel from assisting with federal persecution in cannabis related cases
o Law enforcement faces misdemeanor charges

Allows law enforcement free reign of persecution of citizens, sets no limitations or penalties 

Protection of the caregivers of pediatric patients from persecution for supplying sick children with Dr. recommended medications 

Strict age limitations place pediatric patients and their caregivers in harm’s way.
o Sick children may not be given medicine due to age restrictions, or may be removed from their parents homes. 

Protection from persecution of underage minors for cannabis possession 

Persecution of cannabis possessors under the age of 21 can result in legal fines, time in juvenile detention centers, and placement of offenses on permanent records. This can ruin a child’s life 

Protection from federal persecution for physicians and licensed medical and veterinarian personal

No protection from persecution for Doctors, which leaves them open to persecution, loss of medical license, and may lead to an unwillingness to consider cannabis treatments for patients

Full and total legalization 

Prohibitive measures and language throughout these initiatives leaves both recreational and medicinal users able to be persecuted.
 
 
Cannabis Legalization on Missouri Ballot:

Two Paths from Which to Choose…Freedom, or Feudalism?

©Doreen Hannes

(((Look, I want to be very clear here. I don’t even use cannabis, because it IS illegal, and the seizure aspects are waaaay too high of a price to consider for something I would only rarely do if it were indeed legal….so I am not trying to get protections for my habit in position.)))

Over the course of the past few months I’ve been doing a fair amount of investigation on the issue of cannabis and various efforts to legalize the plant for the general benefit of humanity. Initially, I looked at the issue of legalizing cannabis as a simple matter of civil liberties with a massive pseudo criminal front propped up by drug court fees, seizure laws, probation and the expenses paid to the system in that, cheap prison labor and increased family court revenues due to foster care and custody issues…And yes, it also incidentally had benefits for people with serious medical issues.

Honestly, I have had a complete paradigm shift. Complete.

Not that the prison industry complex and costs to society associated with those issues are irrelevant, but there is a much larger, and much more evil truth about the control of cannabis that absolutely must become common knowledge. It’s particularly important that those who largely identify with conservative and Christian principles, or strong Constitutionalist ideologies become fully aware of the collusion between government and corporations to remove a beneficial plant from our access. Cannabis actually heals. And it restores life to people who are very ill. Hundreds of studies show this to be true, and also that cannabis is tremendously beneficial for our overall health.

The reason this has come to the forefront for many of us is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold to the idea that “Reefer Madness” has any basis in fact. It simply isn’t factual. Sometimes there are people that use cannabis that are just literally criminals and have no regard for their fellow man. These same criminals may also consume carrots, but the carrots are not the cause of their deficient characters. With or without cannabis, these people would be violent. Cannabis does not cause crime. Violent cartels exist because of cannabis being illegal. So in effect, the only violence that can truly be attributed to cannabis is state sanctioned violence through unjust laws. Simply put, the controls on this plant are the reason for violence associated with the plant or it’s distribution.

The tipping point on the truth around cannabis being put into the status of a Schedule One controlled substance (the Schedule One designation means it has NO medicinal value) has been achieved among the people. For those who have some qualms about whether or not this plant needs to be flatly legalized, please watch this video about Rick Simpson oil. This man has given people -as in freely given- cannabis oil, and they have been cured of all manners of disease including multiple types of cancer and terminal cancer. If you watch that video and still have any uncertainty left in you, watch this video, and forgive the one instance of yelling at the very beginning. The facts are that corporate interests paid to have cannabis categorized as a Schedule One controlled substance. Corporate interests, violent cartels, the prison industry and tyrannical seizure laws fattening the wallets of a few, have been the only beneficiaries of cannabis control.

Multitudes of people have died from being denied the best thing on earth to beat cancer. And the people in the corporations, the politicians that continue to be bought off from taking right action, and the pharmaceutical companies, are complicit in their deaths. Yes, I said complicit. The facts are in. Cannabis prohibition must end and will end very soon. Just look at this list of the plethora of studies that show the benefits of cannabis in treating human ailments. There are hundreds of studies on the effectiveness of cannabis, not just in treating symptoms of disease, but actually curing the disease in many instances. It can’t be covered up any longer. However, we do have some questions that we need to answer for ourselves as we move forward on cannabis.

The first question is whether or not we are happy with the current state of controlled and declining health and access to alternative/natural treatments? Currently, the FDA -who took 30 years to admit that vitamin C is helpful in thwarting the common cold- is in control of our food and our medicine. On average, FDA approved medications kill 100,000 people per year. Those are their own reports on the FDA’s website. The FDA has stated they are justified in exercising authority to control what we consume because the Almighty gave commands on dietary laws in Scripture. They think they have as much authority as the Creator of the Universe. Seriously. Check it out here. (page 26 of 30)The FDA also holds the position that “raw milk is inherently dangerous and should never be consumed by any one for any reason.” Never mind the fact that if that were a true statement, there would never have been a second generation of human beings.

Honestly, I could go on for a full-length book about the criminal behavior of the FDA in relation to our food and medicines, but I’ll restrain myself. Just watch network tv for one night, count up the recalls and suits being advertised along with all the new medications you should talk to your doctor about, then ask yourself if you think they are doing work that is truly beneficial for humanity. If you can truthfully say that you are pleased with the quality of our nutrition, not knowing whether or not you are consuming genetically modified organisms, and the health care system in this country, then you need do nothing. If you are not satisfied with the status quo of chronic pain, disease and debilitation, and lack of personal control, then it’s time to do things differently.

The next series of questions we must answer is what kind of business model “We the People” want to follow as we end prohibition on this plant? Do we want to stick with the controlled access, medical industrial cartel dialectic, where production, distribution, and access are licensed and heavily regulated, and keep fascism growing? Or do we want to seek free market enterprise and let everyone who is interested put their own money on the line and succeed or fail on their own merits? Have layers of bureaucrats proven themselves to be beneficial to our literal wellbeing? Do we think we personally should have the ability and choice to make decisions about what we consume? Or do we believe the bureaucrats, paper pushers and corporations have proven themselves to have a legitimate and beneficial hand in securing our health?

Once we’ve answered these questions to our satisfaction, then we must decide how we move forward on the issue of cannabis legalization and access. In Missouri, we will have two very different initiatives on the ballot in 2016 for a proposed Constitutional amendment.

Since I’m from the Show Me state, and these two initiatives are responsible for bringing me to the paradigm shift I mentioned above, I bring you “The Tale of Two Initiatives”. One is very short and flatly legalizes it. The other is 4 pages of small print and proposes to regulate cannabis within the Constitution of the state.

From that short overview, it is very likely that those who know me have already determined which initiative has won my support. But it’s necessary for everyone to make up their own minds about this, so the remainder of this rather lengthy article is going to focus on the nuts and bolts of these two initiatives. Other states have similar proposals in position.

Let’s deal with the short one first. This initiative, identified as 2016-013, was written by Mark Pedersen formerly of the Kansas City NORML group. Even many major proponents of legalizing cannabis have said it was too radical. Notably, the national level of the KC group that worked with Pedersen, NORML (the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) is reported to be the biggest opponent of this initiative. We’ll have to deal with the reasons behind NORML opposing this amendment in a subsequent article. For now, we’ll just look at the “radical” amendment first and talk about possible pros and cons related to it.

2016-013 is currently being circulated for the collection of signatures to get onto the 2016 November ballot. It proposes to remove cannabis from the controlled substances list. It doesn’t place limits on the amount one person may possess or grow. It also doesn’t have any age limits set within the confines of the proposed amendment to the Constitution. It secures the right of people to grow enough for their personal use and prevents extra regulatory controls on farmers and processors of all cannabis products, including all strains, cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, and crosses of these cannabis strains. It prohibits the mere presence of cannabis and cannabis products from serving as cause to charge with impaired driving. And I do admit that it does indeed seem radical on its face. But let’s examine the issues so we can make determinations with solid information.

First up, let’s look at the “radical” idea of not limiting the amount that an individual may grow. This is terrifically important. If you watched the Rick Simpson “Run From the Cure” video I linked earlier, you are aware that a single full treatment for cancer or serious health issues requires a pound of cannabis. The oil from the plant is extracted and a pound will render about 2 ounces of oil. It’s a lot of cannabis. What’s more, if a person has received chemo or radiation, they will need at least 2 full protocols of the cannabis oil to fully heal. It can take a lot of plants to get those amounts of cannabis. The street value of a single treatment amount bought by the ounce is about $4800.00 right now. If you can get the entire pound and buy it all at once you might be able to get a discount and get it as low as $3400. Is that too high of a price to cure cancer? Certainly not, but what if you don’t have $3400 to $4800? Does your ability to pay for a treatment make you worthy of having it? Conversely, does the inability to pay make you a less valuable human being? If there aren’t limits placed on the number of plants one may have, it opens the door for people to be better able to heal themselves and to take personal responsibility for their own well being.

Should Cannabis Be Legal?
Yes, completely.Yes, but only with strict regulation.Only when a doctor prescribes it.No. It is harmful.
VoteView ResultsPolldaddy.com

Next let’s look at the thing that really struck me personally about the 2016-013 initiative. There is no age limit set forth for possessing or using cannabis. I thought that was pretty over the top, and I told the people who contacted me about the initiative that it was my opinion that it needed an age limit. They made some pretty good arguments against it. One of those arguments was very basic from a freedom advocate’s point of view. The age of majority isn’t stipulated in the Bill of Rights. Also, it isn’t a static thing. It is 21 for some things and 18 for other things and it isn’t something that should be ensconced in our Constitution to secure a right. Even more importantly, in light of the healing potential of cannabis oil, would anyone with any compassion in them want to prohibit a parent faced with a seriously ill child from being able to help that child? I wouldn’t. It would be unconscionable to put anyone in that position, and instead run them through a bureaucratic and medical industrial complex maze to do what every parent must do to be right in the eyes of their Creator and provide for the child help in a time of trouble. Also, it is emphatically evident that parents have a duty to protect their children from ingesting things that they shouldn’t be ingesting. If you are going to have cannabis in the house, you have to be responsible and not allow your children to use it on their own. In other words, BE A PARENT!

Next let’s take an actual look at the issue of THC in the system and driving under the influence. THC being present in the system is simply not at all equal to impairment. Yes, THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, but its presence within a person’s system doesn’t mean that the person is impaired. It isn’t like blood alcohol content, in that a person could have high levels of THC in their system, but still not be impaired. If someone is using cannabis to treat themselves for health reasons, THC will be high, but they are not likely to be impaired if they have been following a protocol for any length of time at all. There is a lot of science behind this fact, and it is important to look at the science and make logical decisions about THC as opposed to emotional decisions predicated on a faulty basis. In no way shape or form am I saying that you cannot be impaired by cannabis consumption. You certainly can be impaired. That impairment would be evident in a motor skills test that was video taped and witnessed by at least two witnesses. Whether people like it or not, that would be evidence of impairment, but THC levels are not a credible assessment of impairment.

Here is an excerpt from a paper on this issue:

A study using coordination testing showed inevitable failure on field sobriety testing if blood THC levels were 25 to 30 ng/ml. But, many failed testing at 90 and 150 minutes after smoking even though plasma concentrations were rather low. The researchers had the foresight to conclude that “establishing a clear relation between THC plasma concentrations and clinical impairment will be much more difficult than for alcohol”. This is because alcohol and THC are chemically different and are metabolized differently inside the body.

Now we are ready to take a look at the “Show Me Cannabis” (aka Mo NORML) initiative proposition.

First off, this initiative, 2016-009, isn’t being circulated for signatures yet because the proponents of the initiative have reportedly “gone back to the drawing board”. However, it is available from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office at this link. I have put in a couple of emails asking for a conversation with the gentleman heading up this initiative and have received no replies, so I cannot relate any responses to questions I have regarding this initiative.

In the first sentence, this initiative is providing for regulatory control of cannabis to Missourians over the age of 21. It stipulates that regulations are to be promulgated for many purposes. Here are a few of those. Promulgate regulations to allow for state licensed producers, retailers, and distributors of cannabis. It states that revenue generated by cannabis will be used to fund police and firefighter pensions and retirement plans as well as elementary and secondary schools. That the revenue will be used to prevent: the establishment of cartels, under age 21 use, and to prevent advertising cannabis to those under the age of 21. It allows for households to grow up to six plants, have up to 16 ounces of dried cannabis, or 20 ounces of liquid cannabis. It proposes to expunge nonviolent cannabis convictions. Also to require a person to get a license to purchase, sell, manufacture, deliver or process cannabis. It requires the labeling of the THC content on all cannabis products, and provides for limitation on the level of THC allowed in cannabis that may be sold. It provides for a 25% excise tax on the first “fair market sale” of all marijuana….And more. Lots more, actually.

Let’s start with the 25% excise tax on the first “fair market sale” of any cannabis. Well, right there we have a problem. “Fair market sale” is defined in this proposed amendment as “means with respect to the sale of a product, a sale in which the purchase price of the product is not less than the price that a willing seller would accept and a willing buyer would pay in the open market and in competition with other similar products.” Hmmm.

If this is absolutely constrained to the FINAL sale of the product to the consumer of the product, that means that if you are buying from a “licensed retail establishment” that you will be paying approximately 33% in taxes to the State. (The 25% excise and the 8% sales tax) It doesn’t state that it is on the final sale though. It says it is on the “first sale in an open market”. So…does that mean when the grower sells to someone for either distribution or manufacturing that the grower has to collect the 25% for the state? Here is the definition of an excise tax. (It’s rather complex, and this article is already very long, so please read the link) It certainly sounds to me as though the tax is something that is supposed to be collected on the sale by the grower after he pays the license fee to be able to sell the product at all.

He must then increase the down line cost of the product by adding an additional 25% cost to the next in line. Then when you get to the retail portion, the cost of goods is further increased by the state sales tax. So, let’s say the licensed grower sells an ounce for $100 for his labor and upkeep, and has to collect $125 from the licensed wholesaler/distributor or manufacturer to whom he sells. The distributor or wholesaler then has to mark up the product by whatever percentage will allow him to pay his license fee and make a living wage to the retailer, who then must again mark up what he sells the product for in order to cover his own living wage. Presume you do typical mark up of 30% for the distributor/wholesaler (more for the manufacturer as there are additional processes involved) as the distributor/wholesaler is supposed to be moving volumes. Now you’re looking at $125 + $37.50= $162.50. Then the retailer usually has to double as they have more insurance liability by having people come in and out of their location, and they have to deal with displays and such. Now you’re looking at $325 per ounce before the typical 8% sales tax ,which is another $26, so the cannabis consumer pays $351 per ounce and the state makes $51 plus licensing fees every step of the way. Mind you, $100 an ounce as a starting price is terrifically low. But is this really going to help out the average person a whole lot? I’m all for the State making money on the retail, but my rule of thumb is what did Yahweh ask for a tithe? Only 10%. Why does the State deserve more than 2 and half times what He requests? Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this way…I kind of doubt it though.

Someone will say, “But you can grow up to six plants, and that surely is enough for a household!” Well, let’s look at the six plant limit. Below you’ll find a little scenario that is not at all unreasonable. Just ask anyone who has ever gardened.

So you decide you like to garden and you’ll grow your own cannabis and therefore bring down the cost of making cannabis available for your household. You order seeds and spend $90 for ten seeds. Really. That’s a pretty good price, too. So you very carefully germinate your seeds and 9 out of ten germinate. Now you have to throw three down the toilet or you’ll be over your six plant limit. You carefully place these in small pots. They begin to put on leaves and now you have your six plants! You’re all legal and looking forward to excellent yields…Then you come home from work and two of your seedlings wilted on you. You mist them and hope they’ll recover. Well, they don’t. So now you have four plants and no more seeds to germinate. You figure that’s all fine because the advertisement said this was a high yielding variety and you can only have 16 ounces of dried product anyway. So when they get to be about 15 inches tall you put them outside into the best area of your backyard for good sun, but not too much, and you check on them daily. You patiently wait for September when you should be able to harvest. In the end of June, you and your family go away for the weekend and when you come home, one of your plants has simply disappeared. And the Japanese beetles picked that weekend to hatch out and eat your remaining plants up like crazy. So you set about making a protective enclosure for them and that involves shade cloth and posts and a gate and it takes you the rest of the week to get that done. You only have a couple of hours to work on it every night because this endeavor isn’t one that actually pays the bills. At this point you’re thinking it’s probably a lot easier to just buy the stuff, but you’re stubborn and keep after it until September. They’re looking okay, but the yields in the advertisement don’t look attainable…Harvest time comes and you get a total of three ounces from your three plants. Probably because the Japanese beetles hit right at flowering time…So you have three ounces after 6 months of tending and you’re scratching your head to figure out if it’s even worth trying again.

Imagine going through that when you are ever so hopeful that you will get a good yield on a strain that will help your child with epilepsy, or a parent with debilitating arthritis, diabetes, or cancer. Six plants? At what stage of maturity? And what happens if you are over that level and get caught by Code Enforcers or the police? Well, we can’t answer that other than to say the legislature will authorize fines and penalties for going over the “Household Exemption” level. It does limit it to up to $1000 or a year in jail. Does that sound good? Does it count toward the retirement funds and school funds prescribed in this amendment proposal? The proposed amendment says “revenue”. Do the enforcement fines and penalties count toward revenue?

Let’s consider the issue of using the amendment to aid law enforcement and firefighters pensions and retirements, and helping out the public school system with additional funds. While I am pro-education and pro-firefighter and all for peace officers, don’t we already spend a fair amount of tax money on these things? Are these funds being managed well? Isn’t this what various lottery proceeds are supposed to enhance as well? If we throw more money at them, do the actual students and the actual public servants ever really benefit? With the seizure laws that have been so onerously used, I have a really hard time thinking the public needs to give more money to police so that they can get more money by citing more people for regulatory violations as promoted in this proposed amendment.

There are some good things that are done in this proposed amendment. One is expunging of nonviolent cannabis offenses. But when you compare these two initiatives that, on their face, are supposed to legalize cannabis in Missouri, one flatly does so, and the other creates a plethora of bureaucracies and potential regulatory abuses along with continued legal system fines and penalties.

Let me be very clear here, while there is no part of me that wants to tolerate minors “getting stoned” or people driving while impaired, it is apparent that the ability to control those things still exist within our legal construct. Minors do NOT have the same rights as adults. Nor do they have the same responsibilities. People who drive while they are chemically/physically impaired by cannabis to the point that they cannot properly react to the hazards on the road are not being responsible, and should be charged with driving under the influence. Video evidence should be sufficient for the enforcement of driving while impaired.

Please check out all the links I posted in this incredibly long article. It’s very important that when we have amendments to consider on the ballot that we are wise in our decisions about them. We cannot be reactive and responsible at the same time. Study it out and be certain of your decisions.

I encourage you to read these amendments again, and if you have concerns, please feel free to voice them and let’s see if we the people can positively, and responsibly, disentangle ourselves from the corporately controlled nanny state on this issue.

http://www.truthfarmer.com