SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – More organizations are speaking out against Amendment Three less than two weeks until the November election.
The ballot issue, if passed, would legalize recreational marijuana, and expunge records for those facing non-violent marijuana charges.
Missouri Sheriffs United is urging voters to reject the proposal.
“The information that they put out that law enforcement’s going to be dealing with less cases because of this, I mean, I think it’s absolutely going to be the opposite,” Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase said.
Legal MO 2022, a group in favor of Amendment Three, disagrees.
“This will make their job easier if marijuana is legalized because it will free them up to stop arresting 20,000 people every year for minor marijuana offenses and to focus on truly serious crimes,” Legal MO 22’s John Payne said.
Another group opposing Missouri Amendment 3 is the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
That group’s former president and current Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson said the measure is bad for Missouri.
“One of the first reasons is it just doesn’t belong in the Missouri Constitution. It’s 38 pages of everything from licensing to taxation to very minor punishments for violations,” Patterson said. “Amendment three is dangerous for Missourians. It’s going to make the job of law enforcement harder, not easier.”
“With the passage of this is, driving under the influence. I mean, we’re up over 500% on our driving under the influence cases that we have just since the medical marijuana came into effect.” Sheriff Degase said.
“It does create a right for people to use, possess, purchase and cultivate personal amounts of marijuana, you know, in the privacy of their own homes,” Payne said. “It still retains control on anything that might be negligent or dangerous behavior.”