Missouri AFL-CIO backs Amendment 3 to legalize marijuana in Missouri

Managing Editor

Jefferson City — The Missouri AFL-CIO is backing the campaign to legalize marijuana for recreational use, Amendment 3, campaign organizers for Legal Missouri 2022 said in a news release.

The Missouri AFL-CIO executive board recommended endorsing Amendment 3 at the union’s statewide convention in August.

“Legalizing marijuana for Missouri adults, while also automatically expunging past, nonviolent marijuana offenses, is a huge step forward for criminal justice reform in Missouri,” Jacob Hummel, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, said in a statement.

Hummel, a former state senator from St. Louis and IBEW Local 1 member touted “significant revenue” expected for the state’s coffers as well as freeing up law enforcement “to focus on fighting serious and violent crime” in the Federation’s endorsement.

“We urge Missourians to support this common-sense proposal to make Missouri the 20th state to legalize marijuana for adult use,” Hummel said.

President Biden on Oct. 6 pardoned thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and said his administration would review whether marijuana should still be in the same legal category as drugs like heroin and LSD, the New York Times reported.

The pardons will clear everyone convicted on federal charges of simple possession since it became a crime in the 1970s, the Times reported. Officials said full data was not available but noted that about 6,500 people were convicted of simple possession between 1992 and 2021, not counting legal permanent residents. The pardons will also affect people who were convicted under District of Columbia drug laws; officials estimate that number to be in the thousands.

“No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden said in a video announcing his executive actions. “It’s legal in many states, and criminal records for marijuana possession have led to needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And that’s before you address the racial disparities around who suffers the consequences. While white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.

“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” Biden said. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”


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