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Activists look to ease pot laws in Springfield

Activists look to ease pot laws in Springfield

June 20th, 2012 in News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri marijuana advocates whose efforts to put a legal pot initiative on the November statewide ballot fell short are now pursuing a decriminalization law in Springfield.

Show-Me Cannabis organizers say they're targeting a southwest Missouri city seen as conservative to demonstrate what they call broad support for new drug laws. In 2004, Columbia voters approved a similar law that classifies possession of 35 grams of marijuana or less as a low-level misdemeanor offense.

The pro-pot group says it plans to use a professional signature-gathering firm to help collect the 2,101 signatures required for the fall ballot in Springfield. A 2008 effort to decriminalize marijuana in Joplin fell 531 names short, and the statewide measure failed to garner the roughly 144,000 voter signatures needed before an early May deadline.