Missouri marijuana measure striving to make ballot

COLUMBIA, Mo. | A leader of the Missouri legal marijuana movement says the campaign faces an uphill fight to gather enough voter signatures to make the November statewide ballot.

A group called Show-Me Cannabis must turn in about 144,000 signatures by early May to get its proposals on the ballot. The group's chairman, Columbia attorney Dan Viets, said Friday the group has about 50,000 signatures in hand but doesn't know how many petitions are still circulating.

One proposal would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize cannabis for people 21 and older, let doctors recommend use of medicinal marijuana, release inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses related to marijuana and clear the way for taxing the drug.

A similar proposal would enact a state law instead of amending the Missouri Constitution.