One month after election day, many Missourians celebrated their new ability to possess legal, adult-use cannabis on Thursday.
As a survivor of sexual violence and a Missourian, I was happy to vote for Amendment 3 on November 8, 2022. The amendment to Missouri’s constitution would legalize adult-use cannabis for the entire state, and I was overjoyed when the legislation passed.
Today, the new marijuana law is in effect, making changes to Article XIV, Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution (medical marijuana program) and creating Section 2 of Article XIV (adult-use program).
— Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (@HealthyLivingMo) December 8, 2022
The aftermath of sexual trauma can be unbearable—even life-threatening— but I know from personal experience just how much cannabis can help. I’m confident the plant’s healing powers helped save my life, and I’m optimistic that cannabis will help save the lives of many more Missourian survivors now that access is widening.
But my story isn’t everyone’s. I’m just one Missourian, and a curious one to boot. I asked 11 Missourians how they felt about the passage of Amendment 3, and their answers were as unique as they are.
“Amendment 3 gives me options. It’s good for a guy like me to have options. I suffer from PTSD, and I used alcohol to cover that up for years. Alcohol was a best friend of mine for the better part of two decades. Now that Amendment 3 has passed, I have LEGAL and healthier options to choose from that won’t cause depression, destroy my liver, or fuel my PTSD symptoms.
Marijuana is aiding in my recovery from those symptoms. I’m choosing marijuana every day over booze! It’s about time we legalized it, too… My dad’s generation has been pushing this for years.”
“I am happy for the people with non-violent marijuana offenses to have a fresh start. I am glad that marijuana will be more readily available for people who need it for its medical benefits. And a huge plus (to me) is that the state will have more revenue from the taxes collected from sales.”
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“I’m pretty pumped that we passed Amendment 3. While I’m not an avid consumer of marijuana, I know plenty of people that are. This will make everyone’s lives easier and more enjoyable without the risk of getting caught. Since I’m such a worry-wart, I feel much more comfortable enjoying this hobby now that it’s legalized!”
“I am glad that Missouri seems to be progressing in one area. Now, we Missourians need to focus on giving back autonomy to our women and their bodies.”
“I work in healthcare. I am excited to see how the passing of Amendment 3 makes cannabis more accessible to patients. For some, the cost and time required for a medical license were prohibitive. This could open up doors for people who want to use cannabis for pain management—and anything that can reduce the use of opioids is a win in my book!”
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“I think for me, it’s a weird combination of relief and pride that I feel when thinking about it. I love living in Missouri, but I know that there are many more and better opportunities for me and my family elsewhere, and many of those locations are more accepting of things I relate with more.
This gives me hope that the culture of Missouri will continue to improve and that my choice to settle down here permanently is proven to not be to the detriment of my beliefs.”
“It’s about damn time!!! Affectionately, the resident 70s hippie.”
“Overall, I am happy that Amendment 3 was passed, especially considering the abnormal harshness of the previous law. I say this as someone who has never consumed marijuana. This sort of law acknowledges the freedoms that we are supposed to have under a fair legal system. This amendment is not the perfect solution to Missouri’s historical stance against marijuana, however. Missouri legislation placed limitations on this to prevent it from being a be-all and end-all law.
It is also crucial to carefully assess the health and social benefits and drawbacks of all marijuana consumption. Still, Missouri needed to take a step in the right direction now instead of not doing so at all. This amendment’s passing opens the door ever so slightly for better laws in the future.”
“I’m thrilled with the passing of Amendment 3, not only for the ease of access to cannabis but for the extended duration of medical cards at the same cost as before. The automatic expungement of records for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses is also a huge deal. It affects over 100,000 people currently in prison, those who have already served their time, and those on probation or parole.
Furthermore, I am happy to have my tax money go toward veterans’ care, addiction treatment, and Missouri’s public defender system rather than the incarceration of folks on cannabis charges.”
“Although politically I support [the] decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, I am concerned about the effects that recreational marijuana may have on the quality, availability, and price of medical marijuana.
However, this amendment greatly improved accessibility for all Missourians to medical marijuana by increasing the number of years for a valid medical marijuana license. I am hopeful that medical marijuana patients will not be affected by these changes.”
“The passing of Amendment 3 in MO gave me hope. I was charged with possession of marijuana in another state several years ago. Now that it will be recreational in MO [it] gives me hope that it will soon be accepted nationwide, and I [can] get those charges possibly expunged from my record. The funny thing was when I caught the charges; I never had so much as even TOUCHED weed.
After I finished my probation, the first thing I did to celebrate was partake in edibles. Now, I have a few gummies daily.”