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Massive Crowd For Marijuana Debate In Saint Louis


missouri show me cannabis rolla town hall meetingBy John Payne

This last Wednesday, nearly 400 people turned out to the Ethical Society in Saint Louis to watch the debate between President of the Missouri Narcotics Officers’ Association Jason Grellner and myself.

Both sides worked diligently to turn out their supporters, so the crowd was divided, but our supporters clearly had the edge in numbers. We also garnered far more contributions than the prohibitionists.

We set out contribution bowls for both Show-Me Cannabis and the MNOA, and attendees dropped $168 in our bowl and a single penny in the MNOA bowl! We will give $100 of those contributions to Harris House, a nonprofit drug abuse treatment center.

The event also brought a tremendous amount of media attention to the issue. Sgt. Grellner and I previewed the debate Wednesday morning on McGraw Milhaven’s KTRS show, and you can watch video of our exchange here. That afternoon, I discussed the debate and the issue generally on Mark Reardon’s KMOX show. Mandy Murphey of Fox 2 moderated the discussion, so the station ran a promotional story the night before and covered the debate extensively Wednesday evening. Finally, KSDK broadcast a story on the debate, as well.

The most thorough description of the event from any local media outlet was written by Ray Downs at The Riverfront Times. However, Russ Belville live tweeted the debate, and his blog post on it reads like a play-by-play of the action.

If you want to see the whole thing, the live stream is archived here, but the WiFi in the building was extremely weak in the auditorium. That forced our camera person to stand at the back of the room near the lobby, so there is substantial background noise. The good news is that thanks to SMC volunteer and supporter Jim McNeely, I now have a high quality recording that I hope to have posted online by the time we publish next week’s newsletter.

We won’t have any more events until after the holidays, but we do already have two events scheduled for January. On Monday, January 6, I will take part in a discussion about cannabis policy in Piedmont that will feature local officials, such as the Sheriff of Wayne County. Then, on Thursday, January 9, we will hold our rescheduled Lake of the Ozarks Town Hall Meeting at Shawnee Bluff Vineyard, which will feature police officers and reform advocates Sgt. Gary Wiegert and Chief Larry Kirk, former medical marijuana patient Daryl Bertrand, and myself.

If you live in a Missouri city with more than 10,000 residents where we have not yet held a meeting and would like to see that happen, please email me, and we can work together to make that a reality!

Of course, none of our work is possible without contributions from people like you, so please take a moment and contribute now.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. “I can drink a glass of wine at dinner and not get intoxicated, but I’ve never heard of somebody taking one hit of marijuana and not getting high,” Grellner actually said, which likely caused at least a few people in the audience to question the quality of their dealer’s supply.

    Mr. Downs, over at the Daily RFT, sure knows how to turn a phrase. :)
    And Mr. Grellner and his kind are not against cannabis, they are against THC (my favorite CBD).

  2. Immortal Illumined on

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    lol, nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody….not surprised, the tide is swelling


  3. John, I am interested to know if you have had the opportunity to talk with anyone after these meetings who has been enlightened as a result of the meeting and come over from the dark side?

  4. Prohibition­ has helped to make all manner of substances freely available in schools, and even prisons—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has raised gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootlegging—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has created a prison-for-profit synergy with drug-lords, terrorists, and corrupt law enforcement agencies—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has removed many of our cherished and important civil liberties—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has put many previously unknown and contaminated drugs on our streets—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has escalated Murder, Theft, Muggings, and Burglaries—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has given birth to forfeiture laws that have allowed citizens to be robbed of both money and property without charge or conviction of any crime—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has overcrowded the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are really hurting and terrorizing others—how has that helped our kids?

    Prohibition has evolved local street gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, and with significant social and military resources at their disposal—how has that helped our kids?

  5. Johnny Bloomington on

    Good job! You could go to UCM in Warrensburg. That’s also 11 miles west of Whiteman AFB and in the KC viewing area for media.

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