JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Brad Bradshaw of Springfield proposed and initiative petition (IP) Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana. The IP would also greatly expand the role of the state’s government into medical research.
Bradshaw, a physician and an attorney, was previously involved in an effort to defeat the Nov. 2013 ballot proposal in Jackson County, saying a statewide measure would be more appropriate. His IP would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but the 16-page proposal, which is open for public comment, outlines many more details.
Of the details, medical marijuana would be taxed at a rate of 75 percent on top of the 10% wholesale tax, for a total 85% tax, to be collected by the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility and paid to the Department of Revenue within 30 days of sale. The petition outlines an expansion of powers for the lieutenant governor, who would be part of the Research Board and its subcommittees, who would also be responsible for appointing members to the board which would oversee all licensure and execution.
Per the IP, the monies collected will be allocated to a trust fund for the Research Board, where funds will be divided 50 percent to general purpose, 25 percent to land acquisition, and 25 percent to targeted diseases.
- General purpose monies “shall be used for research, presently incurable diseases, building and construction, the campus, cures, endeavors, jobs, administrative expenses, and education in Missouri.” Board admin costs would be paid out of this fund.
- Land acquisition monies “shall be used for land acquisition and land development. The Land Acquisition Account may receive specific designated grants, gifts, devises, bequests, contributions, donations, and money from contracts…from state or federal government, derivative of intellectual property rights.” These funds cannot be commingled.
- Targeted disease monies would be for research on “targeted diseases.”
- Money is specified to not be used to clone humans or for embryonic stem cell research on an “aborted embryo, fetus, or baby.”
- Itemized expenses and income are to be made public annually by the board.
Other IP highlights:
- A subcommittee would be established under the Research Board for land acquisition. Members of this subcommittee would also be appointed by the lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor would also sit on this committee, which will seek to investigate locations for a possible board campus. The campus location will then be approved by voters.
- The campus location will be purchased “as funds come available.” The committee will make an offer to the landowner, but if the landowner is unwilling to sell, eminent domain can be utilized.
- The legislature cannot pass laws to “limit the effectiveness of” the proposed article.
- The Research Board can make and market cures of “medical and non-medical nature.”
Before circulating petitions, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the secretary of state and attorney general. The secretary of state then prepares a summary statement of no more than 100 words, and the state auditor prepares a fiscal impact statement, both of which are subject to the approval of the attorney general. When both statements are approved, they become the official ballot title.
In California, nearly $1 billion of medical marijuana was sold in 2014 and over $700 million of marijuana was sold in Colorado. If this IP were approved by the voters and Missouri sales were similar, the research board could oversee over half a billion dollars per year – over 10% of what the state currently collects. Missouri currently collects between $7-8 billion a year. Currently, few public dollars goes towards land acquisition or scientific research.
A fiscal note will be created by the Auditor’s Office after the Secretary of State and the Attorney General’s Office approve the petition form.
Read the full IP at: http://s1.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/Elections/Petitions/2016-128.pdf
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.