JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Representative Ron Hicks (R-St. Charles) filed a House bill called the “Cannabis Freedom Act” on Tuesday (2/15/22). This bill, if passed, would legalize marijuana for adult use, releases all non-violent marijuana offenders, allow those on probation or parole to legally use marijuana, and more.
Back in 2021, pro-marijuana groups in Missouri filed initiative petitions for the 2022 elections to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in the state.
“The Cannabis Freedom Act is the product of input from many different stakeholders including members of law enforcement and those who have endured incarceration for conduct that society now deems acceptable,” said Hicks. “I am particularly grateful for input from Oklahoma State Representative Scott Fetgatter (R-Okmulgee) for his assistance in creating a free market program that is also strictly regulated.”
This bill would impact Missouri’s medical marijuana program. Those denied medical marijuana licenses will earn a tax deduction in the amount of application fees paid to the state. Daniel Jones, a former Rolla City councilman and Navy Veteran, said the best part about the bill is what it does for certain offenders.
“I am heartened to see that the Cannabis Freedom Act contains full release and expungement protocols for marijuana-only offenders,” said Jones. “The passage of this proposal will represent a historic victory for civil rights and individual liberty in America.”
Christina Thompson of Show Me Canna Freedom said the Cannabis Freedom Act would also expand access to marijuana to more Missouri residents.
“The Cannabis Freedom Act provides a fair, open market that every Missourian can participate in. The cannabis community desperately needs this piece of legislation, and I’m hopeful that our lawmakers will understand just how vital it is that this passes.”
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed a bill back in December 2021 that eliminates penalties for possessing 35 grams or less of marijuana.
In the United States, 19 other states have fully legalized recreational marijuana. Missouri is already with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Hawaii, Ohio and Rhode Island in decriminalizing cannabis and legalizing its medical use.