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Marijuana Decriminalization Settlement Reached With City Of Springfield


springfield missouri city hall marijuana decriminalizationBy John Payne

Longtime readers of this newsletter will remember that we sued the city of Springfield last year after the City Council used legislative chicanery to prevent an initiative to reduce penalties on possession of small amounts of cannabis from reaching the city’s voters. We supported the petition by helping to pay for signatures and publicizing it, and it was certified to be considered by the Council in August 2012.

According to the City Charter, the Council was supposed to either pass the initiative into law or reject it and send it to voters in November. Instead, several members of the Council crafted a ruse in which they passed the proposal with the express intent of repealing it at the earliest possible opportunity.

We believed they violated the City Charter, as well as both the Missouri and the United States constitutions, so we sued the city in federal court. A trial was scheduled for this summer, but that will now be unnecessary as we have reached a settlement with the city in which they will pay $225,000 to end the suit.

Most of that will go towards attorney fees for the lawsuit, but we intend to use the rest as seed money for our 2016 campaign to legalize and regulate cannabis statewide. There is a delicious irony to the fact that the city government that worked so hard to attack and disrespect our efforts will now be one of our largest contributors.

Most importantly, I believe the Council will not attempt to subvert the democratic process like that again. Moreover, it also appears that the law we were pushing for in Springfield will largely be implemented statewide soon.

As Dan Viets wrote about last week, the long-awaited revision to the Missouri criminal code was passed by both houses of the legislature two weeks ago. That bill reduces first-time charges for possession of ten grams or less to a non-arrestable offense with no possibility of jail time.

The settlement with the city of Springfield was a true compromise in that nobody left totally happy with it. However, we are quite happy that the Council now understands that they cannot pull a fast one and expect to get away with it, and that we can now turn the page on this incident and concentrate more fully on our efforts to reform cannabis laws at the state level.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Ted Mishler on

    if only sidney had learned to plant his own bananas, or been allowed to
    he would not have had to remove the buckshot due to stealing from the plantation owner, the way a common thief might do
    what can we as a society do
    to maintain freedom for all, which would ultimately gain peace for all, which is a good goal i think dont you?
    I always liked the cartoon and sidney’s character seemed to mean well, but lets face it
    in this one he portrayed a thief, or a two bit crook as toody might have put it in car 54s thirty day notice, which to me still is a hit:-)
    3 more weeks or so
    then i will journey to colorado
    excitement is being felt
    at the thought of freedom for me a cannabis consumer, freedom to by a joint or some hash, with true scales, true strengths, not “imaginary” and weights, so a person feels like they got their monies worth with those they would otherwise might have had delt
    freedom to purchase the product with no 1 or 2 week delays
    freedom to buy it, with out a group of haters passing unconstitutional laws that do nothing but cause discrimination and all sorts of hardship, as they demand a person’s pee for a good job, so that they can show us the door and say no way
    soon, i will not have to be here in the prison capitol of the states
    where they make pills at ely lilly, some of which kills people according to statistics, that are not mentioned by the ones who hate
    why obama would make a joke
    as nearly one million people arrested last year for cannabis, it seems strange that a person should not fear an open toke
    obama acts like their is no war?
    and no one is in prison unconstitutionally i should ad, why are they there for?
    funny man needs to admit it
    the usa is a sinful one, praying on all in the cannabis community that they can, and it needs to stop it, so that we can once again admire those we are supposed to honor, not wince when their name is heard as they work for the government

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