Law enforcement, residents react to legalized marijuana on November ballot

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 9:29 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARION COUNTY, Mo. (WGEM) - Missouri could be joining other states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Residents are set to vote on its legalization on Nov. 8.

A “yes” vote would:

  • Remove state prohibitions on the purchase, possession, use, manufacture and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults 21 and older
  • Allow prisoners with certain marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation and have their records expunged
  • Give the state a 6% tax on the retail price of recreational marijuana

Hannibal resident Tiffany Alton said she smoked recreational marijuana when she lived in Illinois.

“I used it legally, of course,” Alton said. “There were a couple times I used it for stress relief and a couple times I used it for pain relief. And then also sleep.”

She is glad that she and other Missouri residents have the chance to vote to make it legal in Missouri.

“There are some people that maybe can’t get a medical card and it would be helpful for them because it is used for pain relief, stress relief,” Alton said.

Palmyra Police Chief Eddie Bogue said residents don’t realize how many people abuse alcohol and making marijuana legal for recreational use could cause more addiction.

“Adding another mind-altering substance in the public I see probably similar results,” Bogue said.

Not only that, but Bogue worries legalizing marijuana would mean more crashes on the roads.

“What we have seen throughout the years since marijuana was first legalized in Colorado, their statistics have dramatically increased on the number of crashes and other accidents that they have encountered,” Bogue said. “I would expect probably the same here.”

A 2020 Highway Loss Data Institute study found an overall 4 percent greater increase in collision claims after retail sales of marijuana took effect in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

However, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study showed no increased crash risk associated with the drug except when it was combined with alcohol.

The issue is amendment #3 on the ballot.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.