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Virus likely dooms Missouri recreational marijuana campaign

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FILE – This April 6, 2018, file photo shows the leaves of a marijuana plant inside Ultra Health’s cultivation greenhouse in Bernalillo, N.M. New Mexico would legalize recreational marijuana sales without exceptions for dissenting cities and counties under a rebooted proposal form legislators that emphasizes small business opportunities and ready access to pot for 80,000 current medical cannabis patients. Legalization for the first time enjoys the full throttled support of second-year Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who set up a volunteer commission last year to vet health and public safety concerns about recreational cannabis and on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, pitched the benefits of the pot economy to a gathering business leaders. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, AP) – Backers of an effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri say the campaign will likely not get on the ballot this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Missourians for a New Approach has been trying to collect 170,000 signatures to get the question on the November ballot but has only collected 60,000.

Dan Viets, the group’s chairman, says it’s difficult to collect signatures because public gatherings are banned and most people are staying at home.

Campaign manager John Payne wants to extend the deadline for collecting the signatures beyond May but state election officials say that deadline is determined by the Missouri Constitution.

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