Take note of clause 24 on page 8 of the New Approach Missouri medical marijuana Constitutional initiative petition approved for signature collection. It reads:
(24) No elected official shall interfere directly or indirectly with the Department’s obligations and activities under this section.
This prohibition on “direct or indirect” interference is quite broad, and implies that in context of this proposed marijuana program, New Approach Missouri wants to ban any action or advocacy of municipal or county electeds, members of the Missouri General Assembly, all statewide elected executives, and even the federal Congress and President. This is an unusual proposal, as it is the explicit job of elected legislators particularly to appropriate funds and participate in the governance of executive branch agencies and programs.
Conceivably this clause would make it illegal for:
A) Governor Greitens to oversee his own political appointee’s implementation of the program, especially and including licensing decisions
B) Lawmakers in the Legislature who must evaluate funding requests for executive branch agencies in context of existing and expected revenues.
C) Lawmakers supporting medical marijuana by advocating for their constituents as the program is implemented
D) County and municipal zoning, or oversight by elected sheriffs
At the end of the day, all this means that New Approach Missouri wants to create a program through a government agency for which Missourians are taxed but not represented.
This changes the question proposed by New Approach Missouri to voters. It is not “Should we pass a medical marijuana law?” but “Should we change the Constitutional rights of citizens to representation so that we can pass a medical marijuana law that benefits our favored licensees?”