By John Payne
This Wednesday, December 18, I will debate Sgt. Jason Grellner of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and President of the Missouri Narcotics Officer’s Association. The event will take place in the auditorium of the Ethical Society of Saint Louis at 9001 Clayton Road, 63117 starting at 7:00 p.m.
As of last night, I wasn’t totally sure this event would be held as scheduled, because Sgt. Grellner was in the hospital last week and had to miss our Poplar Bluff Town Hall meeting, where he was scheduled to sit on the panel. Sgt. Grellner is feeling better, and the event will go forward as planned.
We will film the debate, and we intend to live stream it, as well. Provided there are no technical difficulties, you should be able to watch it here. However, if at all possible, we want you to be there in person.
Mandy Murphy of Fox 2 will be moderating the debate and covering the event on the news that evening. We are also inviting many other media outlets and political figures. A large, supportive turnout will impress upon those individuals and their respective audiences that Missourians want to see cannabis brought out of the illicit market and legalized for adult use!
Please invite your friends, family, and associates. If you use Facebook, you can do that on the event page here. I have also been told by the Ethical Society that their lot will probably fill up, but additional parking is available at the Second Baptist Church at the corner of McKnight and Clayton.
I hope to see you Wednesday night!
Town Halls Meet with Tremendous Success in December
By John Payne
We originally scheduled four town hall meetings for December, and although inclement weather forced us to reschedule our Lake of the Ozarks meeting for Thursday, January 9, the other three meetings attracted large crowds and a great deal of media coverage.
Two weeks ago in West Plains, hometown of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation board member Amber Langston, 70 people turned out. They were treated to a five person panel that included Amber, retired judge David Dunlap, former medical marijuana patient Daryl Bertrand, local journalist Terry Hampton, and myself.
Terry wrote a terrific front page article covering the event for West Plains Daily Quill. We also received some great radio coverage from Ozark Radio Network, and the online coverage also includes a short video clip from the beginning of my remarks.
This past Wednesday in Saint Joseph, former prosecutor Brian Leininger, Amber, and I spoke to around 65 people. As usual, the vast majority of the people in attendance supported legalization, but I believe several folks were on the fence and seemed to be persuaded by some of our arguments. The meeting was covered in the Saint Joseph News-Press as well as the paper’s associated television news outlet Fox 26 KNPN and Saint Joe Channel KQ2.
Then on Thursday in Poplar Bluff — my hometown — around 150 people gathered for a panel discussion that included a number of advocates for and opponents of legalization. Local criminal defense attorney Dan Moore, Daryl Bertrand, Dr. Gil Mobley, and I represented the pro-reform side. On the other side, Poplar Bluff Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Rolland, Chief of Police Danny Whiteley, and Vice President of the Missouri Narcotics Officers’ Association (MNOA) Kevin Glaser defended prohibition.
You may remember Glaser as the individual who made some untoward comments about the attendees at our Cape Girardeau meeting. In response I challenged him to a debate in Poplar Bluff. He declined, and the position he ended up taking on the panel was supposed to be filled by MNOA President Jason Grellner, who was in the ER that night. The debate was spirited on both sides at times, but all the panelists remained respectful towards each other.
The event generated front page coverage in the local paper, the Daily American Republic, on three separate occasions, and KFVS 12 in Cape Girardeau ran a story on the meeting during the 9:00 and the 10:00 news that night, as well as the next morning. I also know for a fact that the reformers won over some of the people who attended the meeting who were undecided beforehand!
The meeting was recorded from two different angles that will be edited together and placed on YouTube in the near future, but, if you don’t mind a lower resolution video, you can watch the archived version of the live stream here.
We don’t have any more town hall meetings scheduled until January, but there are several cities where we would particularly like to host a meeting. If you live in or around Farmington, Hannibal, Kirksville, Maryville, Fulton, Union or Washington and would like to help host a town hall meeting, please let me know, and we can start planning those events.
Finally, please remember to call and write Governor Nixon to voice your support for clemency for Jeff Mizanskey. Jeff is currently serving life without parole for non-violent cannabis offenses of Missouri law and will die in prison unless the Governor acts. You can learn more on our website, or text ‘Jeff’ to 420420 now!
Source: National Cannabis Coalition