Marijuana debate expected to draw huge crowd

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Wednesday night a huge crowd is expected to hear both sides of the passionate debate on whether to legalize marijuana in Missouri.

The group trying to makepot legal is working hard to drum up support to change the law as early as next year.

I will be the moderator Wednesday night, but Tuesday night I sat down with the both sides for a preview.

Show Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne will face off with Sgt. Jason Grellner vice president of the National Narcotics Officers Coalition in an effort to inform the public about the pros and cons of making Marijuana legal in Missouri, not just for medicinal purposes but for recreational use.

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia now have laws legalizing marijuana in some form.

Illinois’ new law allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes takes effect next month.

But Colorado and Washington state are the only two states to legalize pot for recreational use.

Sgt. Grellner does not want to see Missouri follow in their footsteps.

Payne's group Show Me Cannabis gave the secretary of state initiatives for legalizing marijuana and is now waiting to get the ballot language and begin polling the public.

One of the big issues sure to be discussed at the debate is whether legalized pot will increase drug use with teenagers.

Wednesday night's debate takes place at 7 o’clock at the Ethical Society on Clayton Road.

I'm told law enforcement from across the state are expected to come to St. Louis Wednesday night for this debate as well as a strong show of support for those who want marijuana legal.

Related Stories:

Missourians can comment on marijuana petitions

Regular marijuana use on the rise, survey says

No federal challenge marijuana legalization in Washington & Colorado

Medical marijuana legalization passes in Illinois

34 comments

  • Santa Damon

    People are going to do it if it is legal or not. So why not tax it and make it legal to close some of the budget problems that MO is facing? It would free up space in jails and prison from continuing to be overcrowded and would allow the law enforcement agency’s to do something more with the major crime problems in MO. There are bigger things to worry about in STL then the stoner sitting at home on the couch – he is not pulling the trigger on the gun, beating up his girlfriend, etc, He is more worried about how he can get someone to deliver him some White Castles. Wake up MO and smell the weed – it is money that is going up in smoke that could be better taxed and close some of the problems facing MO today.

    • rose

      i agree cannibas does help sleep and it is also good for people who are very sick, it helps them to eat and helps keep the pain away,learn how to tax it and it would be legal, it is much safer than someone getting behind the wheel of a car and driving if anything pot makes you more aware of youre surroundings,

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    I think the cop is going to show the educational and intellectually enlightening documentary movie “Reefer Madness” to make his point. I wonder if he’ll point out that NONE of our mass shootings or violent terrorists over the last 10 years have smoked pot – oh, they were all gun fanatics and right-wing extremists for the most part, but those things are okay – I guess he’ll need to stretch to find ANY violence or problems causing people to be hurt caused by smoking weed. Texting and driving and religious extremism hurts more people than pot smoking. Of course, if we legalize pot, that would take away the thing cops spend about 33% of their time on – they may then need to find something else useless and pointless to do to earn those lifetime pensions! So I can see how important it is to the law enforcement community to keep this phony drug war going – their livlihoods depend on it, and it’s easy work! Sure beats fighting real crime!

    • bret

      What is the name of the police officer who picked on you all through grade school. He must have taken a ton of your lunch money because you have a huge hatred for those who wear bulletproof vests and carry guns everyday to work.

      • Kevin Hunt

        @Bret: The name of the bully cop was Sgt. Jason Grellner. Word is that he is especially fond of body cavity searches

      • Freedom Fighter

        Bret, are you just trying to be mean?
        i really feel sorry for folks that have to constantly criticize and judge others and leave no time for love and fun. This type behavior usually stems from low self esteem. loosen up, go forth and enjoy life and try to contribute something positive. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

      • James

        The officers name is Tyranny. He came bursting in an innocent mans house with a bullet proof vest and guns looking for a joint in the name of the drug war.

    • Brian

      I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but it is incorrect. None of the shootings were brought out by gun fanatics. If you look at their back stories. Either they stole the guns or bought them just before their rampages. Someone who has to steal, borrow, or buy a gun in order to perform a murder is NOT a gun fanatic.

    • Kevin Hunt

      Not everyone grows tomatoes. That’s why you see tomatoes being sold at grocery stores. Colorado has about 670 dispensaries that sell (taxed) marijuana. Growing quality marijuana is a lot more than just throwing some seeds out into the back yard and hoping for the best.

    • Brian

      contrary to popular belief, it is not all that much cheaper to grow your own. When you figure in the cost of electricity, or nutrients. You aren’t saving much. However if they tax it to the point to where it is unaffordable, then yes people will grow it.

  • Randy

    Ask any high school student what is easier to get, alcohol or marijuana. You will hear marijuana every time, because it is illegal. Prohibition doesn’t work. Also science, unfortunately in other counties, has proven marijuana is a beneficial medicine with fewer side effects than pills.

    • Kevin Hunt

      “The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

      Source: Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke

      Open Neurol J. 2012; 6: 18–25.

  • Kevin Hunt

    New Mexico Man Subjected To Repeated An al Probes After Routine Traffic Stop

    David Eckert was shopping at Wal-Mart. As pulled out of the store’s parking lot, City of Deming police noticed that he did a rolling stop at a stop sign.

    They asked Eckert to get out of his vehicle and noticed that he appeared to be clenching his but tocks. The police arrested him and took him to Gila Medical Center.

    The first thing they did was X-ray Eckert’s abdomen. They found no drugs. Next, a doctor stuck fingers into Eckert’s an us. Again, no drugs. So they probed his an us with their fingers again. Still nothing.

    So they forced an enema on him then made him defecate in front of doctors and police officers while they watched. Still nothing. Then they did it again. And again. Three enemas, three times Eckert was made to evacuate his bowels in front of officers and doctors.

    The doctors sedated him and performed a colonoscopy, searching Eckert’s rec tum, colon and large intestines with a camera. They found no drugs.

  • Freedom Fighter

    I am a 57 year old, husband, father, electronics engineer, musician, successful business owner, community volunteer, homeowner and long term (40 years) recreational marijuana user. Arrest me, I’m quite a dangerous fellow! There millions more out there just like me. Critical mass has been reached! According to the CDC web site no one has ever died from cannabis intoxication in all medical history. How long do we have to suffer the lies and harmful costly laws from a government whose own studies have shown cannabis all but harmless by comparison to prescription drugs, tobacco and booze. LEGALIZE IT ALREADY!!! Vacation in Colorado and Washington this summer!!!

  • Darren

    I look at it this way. I have gone to Las Vegas and could get all the cocaine I wanted, but could not get any weed. Why? Because the casino owners do not want you smoking a joint and going to your room to relax. They want you wide awake on the floor gambling your money away. This alone should prove weed does not make you violent or go out doing stupid (criminal) things that hurt and or kill people. For the people that do not want pot legalized. DRINK AND SNORT UP!!!!!!!!!!

    • Randy

      If you can’t make, go to show me cannabis.com and view live stream….also it will be covered on Fox news, but not it’s entirity.

  • Chris Anslinger

    Dear police dude, The government says that marijuana is on the list of the most harmful drugs in the world, while alcohol is not listed at all.
    -Could a person that knows nothing about this subject, conclude, that the government is saying marijuana is much more harmful than alcohol?
    -When the government outlawed cannabis, did they offer any scientific data to back up their claim that cannabis is the worlds most harmful plant?
    – Can you point to the part of the constitution that authorizes the prohibition of cannabis?
    -Why did we need an 18th and 21st amendment, but no amendment for prohibiting cannabis?
    -Is prohibiting cannabis constitutional?
    -Dear police dude that works for me; after 76 years of cannabis prohibition, can you show me any scientific study that demonstrates that cannabis is more harmful than alcohol?
    -So, my employee, under what authority would you lock me up for making a rational choice to use a less harmful substance than alcohol?

  • knowa

    None of this should or would be necessary if not for this letter and even today there is no scientific justification to schedule cannabis in the first place. Its a Lye a fraud and we have wasted over a Trillion 23 million family’s destroyed for a plant.
    CNN.
    On August 14, 1970, the Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Roger O. Egeberg wrote a letter recommending the plant, marijuana, be classified as a schedule 1 substance, and it has remained that way for nearly 45 years. My research started with a careful reading of that decades old letter. What I found was unsettling. Egeberg had carefully chosen his words:
    “Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marijuana be retained within schedule 1 at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue.”
    Not because of sound science, but because of its absence, marijuana was classified as a schedule 1 substance. Again, the year was 1970. Egeberg mentions studies that are underway, but many were never completed. As my investigation continued, however, I realized Egeberg did in fact have important research already available to him, some of it from more than 25 years earlier.

  • alaskan1st

    How does it make sense to throw someone who never committed any other crime and never hurt anyone else into jail for a few years only to have them released into the public to fend for themself after learning every street survival technique known to cons?

  • Robin C. Morgan

    I’m sixty. Legalize it now. REduce pain. Reduce anxiety. Reduce crime. Studies show, when legalized, use among youth goes down. Aspirin works. This was at one time anecdotal. Study it stupid, then decide. It does have some unwanted side effects, but what doesn’t.

  • Dawn hunter

    St. Louis city has already said that they’re not worrying about smaller amts of pot or people just standing around by houses and smoking it. They said they have bigger and more important things to worry about. They’re still not going to ignore those with larger amts. I’m all for legalizing it. Tax it and less for the cops to worry about. Like someone said on here, they’re still gonna smoke it.

  • Kyle Young

    I worked as a manual laborer this past summer in a quarry, usually doing 10 to 14 hour days, without a lunch break or anything of that nature – I worked until the job was done. When the working day was done, I usually had a bowl of cannabis to keep any pains from the working day away. Often times, I would have to be at work between 4:30 and 6:30am, so I also used cannabis help me sleep at night. It never left me with a hangover, or made me sleep in too long, or caused me to work too slowly.

    With alcohol, I was told not to drink it too heavily because it dehydrates you very quickly – in a quarry (which basically is like a humid desert past 10am when the sun reflects off and heats the rocks) it can quickly become a life/death situation if you’ve drank even moderately the night before. With cannabis, I have yet to experience any negative effects from its usage.

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