Republican lawmaker pushes to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri

Missouri’s 101st general assembly starts Wednesday, and one Republican lawmaker said he has filed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the Show Me State.Shamed Dogan represents Ballwin, Missouri, which is outside of St. Louis. He said he wants Missouri to become the 17th state to legalize marijuana.“We spend more time and more law enforcement resources going after marijuana smokers than all the other drugs combined,” Dogan said when introducing the bill. “Ten percent of the arrests in the state of Missouri right now are from marijuana possession.“I think alcohol prohibition taught us that trying to prohibit something this way, the way we’ve gone about marijuana prohibition, it backfires.”Dogan said his plan would also clear the records of people with previous nonviolent marijuana-related charges.“It automatically lets out of prison anybody that is still serving a prison term for marijuana only offenses and then expunges from your record if you have a nonviolent marijuana offense,” Dogan said. “If you are currently incarcerated for only a marijuana offense. So, if you have a marijuana offense but you also committed a robbery, you don’t get out.”Missouri just introduced medical marijuana in 2020 and stores opened throughout the state in October. The state has issued around 360 business licenses, which has brought in millions of dollars to the…

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Missouri’s 101st general assembly starts Wednesday, and one Republican lawmaker said he has filed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the Show Me State.Shamed Dogan represents Ballwin, Missouri, which is outside of St. Louis. He said he wants Missouri to become the 17th state to legalize marijuana.“We spend more time and more law enforcement resources going after marijuana smokers than all the other drugs combined,” Dogan said when introducing the bill. “Ten percent of the arrests in the state of Missouri right now are from marijuana possession.“I think alcohol prohibition taught us that trying to prohibit something this way, the way we’ve gone about marijuana prohibition, it backfires.”Dogan said his plan would also clear the records of people with previous nonviolent marijuana-related charges.“It automatically lets out of prison anybody that is still serving a prison term for marijuana only offenses and then expunges from your record if you have a nonviolent marijuana offense,” Dogan said. “If you are currently incarcerated for only a marijuana offense. So, if you have a marijuana offense but you also committed a robbery, you don’t get out.”Missouri just introduced medical marijuana in 2020 and stores opened throughout the state in October. The state has issued around 360 business licenses, which has brought in millions of dollars to the…

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