Are there enough verified signatures for Missouri to vote on marijuana this fall?

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 3:53 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - There were broad smiles and a photo op when Legal Missouri 2022 delivered 390,00 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State.

The petition would allow voters to legalize marijuana for people 21 and older. Revenues would help fund veterans, drug addiction treatment and the public defender system. Non-violent criminal records related to marijuana would be expunged.

Now, the campaign manager of Legal Missouri 2022 is releasing a statement in response to spreadsheets that show a large percentage of signatures are being thrown out.

“Having turned in nearly 400,000 signatures from Missourians who want to become the 20th state to regulate, tax and legalize cannabis, we are confident about being on this November’s ballot,” said campaign manager John Payne.

In order for the petition to be placed on the ballot, there must be enough signatures in six out of eight congressional districts.

District 1 in Saint Louis and District 5 in Kansas City both have enough votes. But between 50-60 percent of verified signatures were thrown out.

The question now is: will there be enough signatures in the remaining congressional districts?

Early, unofficial spreadsheets show some districts may be cutting it close.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft addressed how certification works and explained what’s taking place is fairly typical.

“You always want to have a lot more signatures than you require. Because you’re always going to lose some,” said Ashcroft.

He said it’s not unusual to have anywhere from 30-50 percent of signatures declared invalid. Counties must finish their tallies by Tuesday, July 26.

A certificate of sufficiency or insufficiency will be issued in early August.

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