Effort to relax marijuana laws could spread in Missouri

Monday, May 28, 2012 | 2:38 p.m. CDT; updated 5:40 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 28, 2012

KANSAS CITY — A group that advocates relaxing marijuana laws is considering broadening its campaign to Kansas City and Springfield.

The group, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, was behind a 2004 measure that greatly relaxed penalties for marijuana smoking and possession in Columbia.

The leader of that effort, Amber Langston, said the city-based measures are considered small steps toward getting a statewide measure passed.

A petition drive earlier this year did not gather enough signatures to get a statewide initiative on the November ballot. But Langston told The Kansas City Star that was due more to lack of resources than lack of support.

Opponents are already gearing up to fight the effort. John Hagan III, a Kansas City ophthalmologist, said studies show the drug has several detrimental effects, and it's illegal for a good reason.


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