(KMOV) – A state lawmaker has filed a bill that would make Missouri the next state to legalize marijuana if passed.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, would impose a 25 percent tax on marijuana, as well as set up a system of state licensing for growers and sellers. Under the system, each county would be allowed to have one retailer for every 2,500 people.
Under the bill, St. Louis County could have 400 retailers, while 127 would be allowed in the city.
The bill would also allow pot users without a license to keep and transport a pound of marijuana, a pound of hashish and more than a half-gallon of hashish oil.
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The proposal was lifted from one of 13 petitions filed by Dan Viets, an attorney from Columbia who serves as chairman of marijuana advocacy group Show-Me Cannabis.
Before a petition appears on a ballot, it would need almost 158,000 signatures by May 2014.
Kelly says he’s not optimistic the bill will pass, but hopes to get a dialogue started.
Washington and Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012. Colorado began allowing commercial sales on Jan. 1, and imposes a 15 percent tax on retail buys.