Medical Marijuana, Minimum Wage and Lobbyist Rules on November Ballot

The legalization of medical marijuana, a minimum wage hike and stricter rules for state politicians are all questions Missouri voters will answer on November 6, 2018.

This morning, the Missouri Secretary of State’s office approved a host of initiatives, all advanced through petition drives, that will be up for a vote in November. One would strictly limit the contributions that a person seeking state office can be given. 

Known as Amendment 1, this bill would eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts (nothing above $5), would make legislative records open to the public, would lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates ($2,500 for state senate, $2,000 for state house) and would require a non-partisan expert to draw district maps that would be approved by a citizen commission.

The minimum wage question would increase the standard hourly pay to $8.60 and then add 85 cents to that each year til 2023 when it would reach $12.00. Government employers would also be exempt from that requirement.

There are three separate medical marijuana questions that will be on the November ballot.  The first would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and create regulations and licensing procedures. A 15 percent tax would be imposed on the retail sale and there would be a tax on the wholesale of the flowers and leaves to licensed facilities. Finally, this would use funds from those taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to look into cures for cancer and other medical conditions and diseases.

The second marijuana issue would also legalize it for medical use and create licensing rules and regulations. This one, however, would impose just a 4 percent tax on retail sales and would use that tax money for health care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission.

Finally, the third ballot issue related to marijuana would remove state prohibitions on personal use and possession as long as the person had a medical note from a doctor who treats people with a qualifying condition. It would remove any prohibition on growth, possession, production and sale of medical marijuana by licensed and regulated facilities, their owners and employees.  It would require a 2 percent tax with funds going to veteran’s services, drug treatment, early childhood education and public  safety for cities that have licensed medical marijuana facilities.