Welcome to Missouri NORML

Working to Reform Marijuana Laws in Missouri

March 30, 2015 

MO NORML LIST

Re: Legislative Update/4-20 Lobby Day/Spring 2015 MO Cannabis Conference

Dear Members and Supporters of NORML in Missouri,

The Missouri General Assembly returned from its Spring Break to resume legislating. Here is an update on the status of several bills of interest to cannabis consumers and other reform advocates. On April 20, I hope you will join us in Jefferson City to persuade Governor Jay Nixon to release Jeff Mizanskey from prison, who is serving life without parole for marijuana, and lobby your state legislators that day as well. I also want to invite you to attend the Spring 2015 Missouri Cannabis Conference which is scheduled for the weekend of Saturday, April 25, in Kansas City at The Loretto.

Following the amazing progress we made in 2014, when six significant marijuana law reforms were enacted by the Missouri legislature, we were concerned about whether that momentum would continue in 2015. It has. 

Recently, four separate marijuana law reform bills were recommended for passage by three committees in the Missouri House and Senate. Even more amazing is the fact that each of these bills was recommended for passage with only a single dissenting vote!

Those bills include limited medical marijuana bill, HB 800; a bill to greatly expand the availability of CBD to patients with ailments other than intractable epilepsy, SB386; bills in each house which would allow the restoration of the agricultural and industrial cultivation and use of hemp in our state, HB 830 and SB 255; and a bill to free Jeff Mizanskey from prison, HB 978.

Jeff Mizanskey is a Sedalia man who is serving life without parole for marijuana offenses. Jeff has never been convicted of any other crime other than relatively small marijuana law violations. He has now served more than 20 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. We are very hopeful that this legislation will encourage the Governor to grant him clemency, even if the bill itself does not pass.

In addition, for the first time ever, there are bills to legally tax and regulate cultivation and consumption of cannabis by consumers in both the Missouri House and Senate! House “Joint” Resolution 15, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Ellington of Kansas City, is pending in the House. SB 560 sponsored by Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of St. Louis is pending in the Senate. While these bills have not yet moved forward, the fact that such legislation is pending in each house of the General Assembly for the first time in history is an indication that we are making real progress toward the goal of ending marijuana prohibition in the foreseeable future in Missouri.

We are working closely with a growing list of allied organizations including Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Empower Missouri and others to end the scourge of cannabis prohibition.

On Monday, April 20, NORML members and supporters from around that state of Missouri will gather in Jefferson City at 10:00 a.m. to urge Governor Nixon to release Jeff Mizanskey from prison. Jeff has served over 20 years of a sentence of life without parole for marijuana possession. He has never been convicted of any crimes other than marijuana offenses. While you are in Jefferson City, we urge you to also visit with your state legislators in their offices and urge them to support all of the marijuana law reform bills which are pending and which are described in this letter.

Please join with other marijuana reform activists from throughout the state of Missouri as well as some special speakers who have been invited to take part in the Spring 2015 Missouri Cannabis Conference co-sponsored by Missouri NORML and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, on the weekend of Saturday, April 25, in Kansas City. Special events are being planned for Friday evening and Saturday evening, so make plans now to spend the weekend in Kansas City. Sign up for weekly updates from national NORML at norml.org and showmecannabis.org.

Please also contact Governor Jay Nixon, your Missouri Senator and Representative and urge them to support the cannabis law reform measures which are now pending in Jefferson City. The Missouri General Assembly adjourns in mid-May. Help us change these laws!

Sincerely

Dan Viets

DV:ck/sas/mb

 

 

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