National organization wants to regulate, tax marijuana in Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Marijuana could become legal in Missouri if a national group gets its way.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws plans to file a bill next year to regulate and tax  marijuana.

A proposal is being drafted right now and may be introduced for the 2014 General Assembly session.

Local coordinator Dan Viets said if that doesn't happen, they will start working on a campaign to get it on the ballot in 2016.

"It's just plain as day there is no evidence whatsoever that marijuana uses increases when penalties are reduced. It just hasn't happened. When's it going to happen?" said Viets.

In the Columbia city limits, the law states any amount of marijuana is illegal.

NORML members are pushing for the topic to be voted on by Missouri voters because Viets said there is a majority of supporters in the state.

National poll numbers show there will be even more support on the matter in 2016."If the bill passes in the form we hope it will it will provide for licensing regulation of retailers to sell, if they comply with those regulations and pay their taxes to adults, it will restrict probably more effectively than we do now the availability to young people than it does now," said Viets.

Viets went on to say the it will also allow anyone older than 21 to have marijuana for their own personal use, just like alcohol and cigarettes.

When asked where the tax money would go if the bill passes, Viets said it could go to drug treatment, law enforcement or education.

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