Criminal justice reform wasn’t a priority for state Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, when first elected to the Missouri legislature in 2014. As he enters his final year before term limits end his tenure in the House, the pre-filed a ballot resolution to legalize marijuana and expunge civil and criminal records pertaining to all non-violent, marijuana-only offenses. House Joint Resolution 83 would place before Missouri voters next November an amendment to the state Constitution allowing the legal adult use of marijuana, subject to state regulation, taxation, and local ordinance. If passed, all those incarcerated or on probation for non-violent offenses will be immediately released and not subject to supervision. During Empower Missouri’s “Clean Slate Town Hall” webinar on Monday, Dogan said he expects to face the same obstacles encountered by those who legalized medical marijuana in 2018. Dogan, the only Black Republican in the Missouri legislature, announced he will run for St. Louis County Executive in November 2022. “There’s a lot of hesitancy among Republicans in general, but especially in the Senate where it only takes a few people who have a strong opposition to prevent it from moving anywhere,” Dogan said. “Even if we were able to pass something in the House, it was dead-on-arrival in the Senate. We ended up with a [medical marijuana] ballot initiative. We made the argument at the time that if you don’t like what we’re passing legislatively, what’s on the ballot is going to be much less favorable. And you as a legislator aren’t going to have any ability to impact it since it’s going to be in the Constitution.”

Marijuana Moment, Marijuana Moment, 12/16/2021 10:29:00

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