I have now written initiatives for four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Nebraska. Though there are structural differences in each to adapt to specific state guidelines, the pertinent text of “Cannabis Restoration and Protection” is relatively the same for all four states.
I might mention, in the Missouri petition, reform was much more complicated since I had to first remove “Amendment 2”, the medical Cannabis initiative that passed with the last General election, from the Missouri Constitution.
As I had warned so many times through the years, amending a state constitution should never be attempted lightly, because once it’s done, it’s quite difficult to remove it. To do so has cost me many hours (days – weeks) – of research, trial and error, and consultation with attorneys.
As a representative of the Missouri Attorney General’s office informed me, ”We’ve never encountered a case like this before, (…where so much of the Constitution would be removed).”
Missouri law required that I include “Amendment 2” in it’s entirety in our petition. For the sake of Missourian’s inclusion in this “line-by-line” explanation and their greater understanding of its meaning, I have omitted the “amend. 2” portions that would appear in their initiative. In addition, wherever you see “[state]”, this is a placeholder for the name of whatever specific state is utilizing the text of this ballot initiative. I strongly recommend that you print the linked ballot initiatives and reflect on them during and following your careful read of this “Line-by-Line”.
In summary –
My bill is about giving our citizenry a choice. It is the accumulation of thousands of conversations that I have had with patients and advocates all over America. My question to them was, “What do you desire regarding cannabis reform” – not what you think others would accept… or what a neighbor or a politician, or your pastor, for that matter, told you to think. “What do you truly want?”
Overwhelmingly, I was told “free and open access…no more prohibition.”
I believe the people should have a choice. That’s what the Direct Initiative process is all about. The voting public deciding what is best for them – not law enforcement and most certainly not profiteering cannabis entrepreneurs.
Denying a patient access to the medication they require to live should be a crime – plain and simple. It’s time that freedom and liberty ring true in our nation. Only We, the People can ensure that our needs and wishes are preserved for, not only ourselves but future generations to come.
Cannabis is nontoxic. Cannabis is food. Cannabis is the single most important medicine of the 21st century.
Mark D. Pedersen, Medical Cannabis Educator
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