The Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) held their annual meeting at the end of Novemer at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. At the meeting, four topics were brought up for resolution, including a key issue, marijuana reform. MAC Resolution #4 was the request of Amy Fite, president of the Missouri Association of Prosecutors, to examine the counties’ stance on cannabis and continue its support on Prohibition. The resolution spelled out in extreme terms that marijuana was a dangerous drug and must be kept illegal.
During the meeting, however, vocal opposition to the resolution was resounding. Several members of the MAC shared personal stories of friends and relatives who have been significantly helped by cannabis. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp, President of the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, fervently voiced his support for medical marijuana legislation, breaking with the official MSA stance. Outgoing Boone County Commissioner Karen Miller also discussed several medical refugees that relocated from her county to Colorado in search of treatment. Still others brought up the tax revenue the state has foregone through Prohibition. These stories created a pro-cannabis atmosphere that was impossible to ignore.
Following the sharing of these stories, and seemingly unanimous agreement in what MAC president-elect Wendy Nordwal called “a clear vote”, a count wasn’t even necessary to defeat the resolution. The resolution, which contained several outdated and inaccurate “facts”, was seen for the propaganda it was, and real stories of real people helped by cannabis won out. This is a major step for Missouri cannabis reform. The overwhelming support for ending Prohibition in Missouri has led to an official rejection of the status quo for cannabis in our state. With opposition at its lowest, now is the time to step into the 21st century and end marijuana Prohibition. The Missouri Association of Prosecutors, which just prior to the conference blamed the St. Louis K-2 overdose epidemic on medical marijuana, continues to look both outdated and out of touch with what its constituents want. With this resounding defeat, the Missouri Association of Prosecutors is left with a clear directive–get out of the way of marijuana reform! We, as their constituents, will be holding them accountable if they continue to interfere.