Missouri Gov. Nixon weighs in on marijuana legalization debate

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by KMOV.com Staff | @KMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 7:40 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 24 at 8:18 AM

Nearly a week after an advocacy group announced it would postpone its efforts to get marijuana legalization on the Missouri ballot, Gov. Jay Nixon is now weighing in on the debate.

 Nixon took part in the debate over medical marijuana on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Medicinally, I think folks are starting to see if there are things the medical community can help on and our legislature may consider that,” he said.

But the Missouri Democrat also said moving beyond using marijuana for medicinal purposes at this point is “a bridge too far.”

Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington.

Last week, Show Me Cannabis organizers said while it initially hoped to have a marijuana legalization proposal on Missouri’s November ballot will instead postpone its efforts until the 2016 presidential election.

Organizers say an internal survey shows that just 45 percent of likely voters support legal pot, with 51 percent opposed. The group had submitted 10 different legalization proposals to the Missouri secretary of state’s office but hoped for voter approval ratings of at least 60 percent.

Executive director John Payne says the cannabis group plans to focus its immediate efforts on proposed legislation reducing Missouri’s criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

He’s also concerned that voter turnout could be low in November, when the job of state auditor is the only statewide office on the ballot.

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