JEFFERSON CITY — The Campaign to Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use announced support from the state’s largest labor organization on Thursday.
The Missouri AFL-CIO supports Amendment 3, Legal Missouri 2022 said in a press release.
“Legalizing marijuana for adults in Missouri, while automatically removing past, non-violent marijuana-related offenses, is a huge step forward for criminal justice reform in Missouri,” said Jacob Hummel, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, in a statement.
Hummel, a former St. Louis state senator, touted expected ‘significant revenue’ for state coffers as well as freeing up law enforcement ‘to focus on tackling serious crime and violent” in the union’s endorsement.
“We urge the people of Missouri to support this common sense proposal to make Missouri the 20th state to legalize marijuana for adult use,” Hummel said.
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Stephen Webber, political director for the AFL-CIO of Missouri, said the union’s executive board recommended approval of Amendment 3 at the union’s statewide convention in August.
Convention delegates then voted to approve the plan, he said.
The AFL-CIO is just the latest organization to make its position known on Amendment 3.
The St. Louis area chapters of the NAACP, the Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the ACLU of Missouri supported the amendment.
The Missouri Democratic Party and Missouri Libertarian Party remain neutral.
And, the Missouri Attorneys Association and the state’s four Roman Catholic bishops are among the opponents of the plan.
The program gives current medical marijuana companies access to full recreational licenses before others, which has drawn opposition from legalization advocates who want a more open cannabis market.
Amendment 3 would legalize the possession of 3 ounces of marijuana for people 21 and older.
The state would tax retail purchases at 6%, with the revenue generated going first to administer the program and then to process write-offs for past marijuana offenses.
State public advocates, nonprofits, and agencies working on drug treatment, as well as the Missouri Veterans Affairs Commission and “allied state agencies,” would receive the remaining money, according to the amendment.