ST. LOUIS – Missouri voters approved making recreational marijuana legal in the state for those 21 and older.

Five states across the country asked voters if recreational marijuana should be legal – Missouri being one of those. Just a few hours ago, the race was called. After hours of waiting for results which for a long time were quite close, Amendment 3 received 53% of voter support. 

It was just before midnight when Amendment 3 supporters popped the champagne and toasted to a successful campaign. Legal Missouri 22 was behind the ballot question asking if those 21 and older should be allowed to buy, use, and grow recreational marijuana. It would also expunge previous non-violent offenses.

During a victory speech, Legal Missouri 22 Campaign Manager John Payne explained that part of the referendum is to help thousands of Missourians.

“How does it feel to make history?,” Payne expressed. “This is the most important criminal justice reform that has ever been passed by the voters of Missouri. We’re going to put an end to 20,000 arrests every year. We’re going to expunge hundreds of thousands of records for non-violent marijuana offenders.”

Recreational cannabis would be taxed at 6% by the state, and local governments can add another 3% tax, while medical marijuana will continue to be taxed at 4%. It also would allow an additional 144 new small marijuana businesses to open.

Governor Mike Parson and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including the Missouri NAACP, were against the amendment. They shared that it doesn’t belong in the constitution, and it doesn’t decriminalize marijuana. 

Since it’s approved by voters, the state health department said it could be by February before recreational cannabis is available for purchase.