A small building nestled off Interstate 70 in Collinsville looks like typical doctor’s office, until you get inside and look up close at the colorful artwork on the walls. They’re portraits of marijuana plants.
At this dispensary, about 12 miles east of the Missouri border, patients and the medical staff have lively conversations about the various medical marijuana products available, from brownies and blueberry-flavored candies to transdermal patches.
Illinois is among the close to 30 states that allow medical marijuana; at least seven states and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized pot altogether — and make good money off of it. In Missouri, there are at least 22 ballot proposals aimed at persuading voters in 2018 to join that growing club of pro-pot states, an effort similar to a successful ballot drive last year in Arkansas.
But all of this comes as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is calling for a crackdown on the growing number of states that appear to be ignoring the federal ban on pot. Here’s the landscape:
Illinois’ program a model for Missouri
All of the initiative-petition proposals in Missouri face a tough challenge. Because all seek to amend the state constitution, they’ll need roughly 190,000 signatures from registered voters in at least six congressional districts in order to get on the 2018 ballot.
At the moment, the group that has the best chance is New Approach Missouri. It has raised the most money for its initiative petition drive to legalize marijuana for the treatment of dozens of diseases.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies looks at citizen-backed proposals to make Missouri more like Illinois when it comes to legalizing some form of marijuana use.
That’s akin to what Illinois has, with the marijuana doled out at