Missouri voted to pass Amendment 3 and legalize the use of marijuana.
Proponents said the measure would be a step forward for criminal justice reform.
Opponents said the measure is "a disaster."
The use of recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 is now legal in Missouri after over half of voters said "yes" on Amendment 3.
Polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Ballot measure details
Amendment 3, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, legalizes personal marijuana use for adults over the age of 21 and also permits those who are incarcerated for non-violent marijuana-related offenses to petition for release, parole, and record expungement.
The measure also establishes a 6% sales tax for marijuana.
The use of medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2018.
Support and opposition
Legal Missouri 2022 sponsored the measure. Several groups supported it, including the ACLU of Missouri, Empower Missouri, Missouri AFL-CIO, Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, MoCannTrade, NAACP St. Louis City, NORML KC, and Reale Justice Network, according to Ballotpedia.
"Missouri shouldn't legalize marijuana without automatically expunging thousands of criminal records for marijuana offenses that will soon be legal," John Bowman, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, told the Missouri Times. "We enthusiastically support this ballot initiative, which will be the single largest criminal justice reform undertaken in Missouri and long overdue."
Save Our State PAC sponsored the measure's opposition. Gov. Mike Parson, State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Missouri Catholic Conference, Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC, and Missouri NAACP all opposed the measure, according to Ballotpedia.
Parson called the ballot measure a "disaster," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I think even people that support that issue will probably be hesitant when it comes to this, but I think that it could be a real trap," he added.
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