Goodwin calls MO Amendment 3 “Truly Unique” among state cannabis laws
Missouri voters will have the opportunity to vote on an amendment to their constitution that would make recreational marijuana use legal for Missouri adults (21+). If Amendment 3 passes, Missouri would be the 20th state in the U.S. to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
What’s especially unique, however, is that the amendment would automatically expunge the convictions of past marijuana possession offenders. This means that, as soon as the bill became law, all individuals who have been convicted of marijuana possession in Missouri would be free from the legal consequences of their conviction. If imprisoned, they’d be released. And their applicable records would be expunged.
In a KCTV5 interview aired August 9, Joseph, Hollander & Craft Kansas City attorney Drew Goodwin explained the significance of the automatic expungement:
“[Ordinarily,] you have to file a petition and initiate legal proceedings. For a lot of people, that requires a lawyer and lawyers require money. So, you have these convictions that go unaddressed. The fact that this is automatic and will be submitted to the voters to be approved as an automatic expungement is truly unique.”
The law would not, however, absolve the penalties of those who were convicted of violent offenses, distribution to minors, or driving under the influence (DUI).
As a result of this amendment, all medical cannabis dispensaries would subsequently be authorized to dispense recreational cannabis also. Again, Goodwin stated:
“[Marijuana business license holders] can do that within 60 days of the effective date of this section. So, by early February, you can expect virtually every medical marijuana dispensary to attempt to be an adult use dispensary.”
For more information, read the full text of the amendment or the Missouri Secretary of State’s summary on their website.