Marijuana Legalization Through Dan Viets

Marijuana Legalization Through Dan VietsMarijuana Legalization Through Dan VietsMarijuana Legalization Through Dan Viets

By: Sana Moore, E23 Reporter

Should marijuana become legal or remain illegal in the state of Missouri? This is a question that has been in the minds of many Missouri citizens and politicians. A few states have been taking the initative and started to legalize marijuana. So far, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use only. Further progressing, states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska have legalized it for recreational and medical use. There has been recent speculation that the state of Missouri could be next.

Columbia attorney Dan Viets is in favor of legalizing marijuana in the state of Missouri. For those who oppose legislation allowing for the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, Dan Viets may be able to change your minds. Viets believes that legalizing marijuana would be beneficial towards Missouri because it can boost the economy and focus police efforts on crimes unrelated to marijuana sales. For example, when drug dealers sell marijuana, the sale is not being taxed. Whereas for citizens, most of our tax dollars goes towards the upkeep of jails and prisons for criminals, many of whom are incarcerated due to marijuana possession and distribution violations. According to Viets, if we legalize marijuana for selling, citizens can better utilize their tax dollars towards other important state resources. Viets raises the point that not everyone who uses marijuana for medicinal and recreational use are criminals.

“The priority should be on crimes dealing with victims and theft [not marijuana users],” said Viets.

Twenty thousand people a year are charged with possession and or use of marijuana and go to jail. With the legalization of marijuana use, there would be more of a focus on incarcerating criminal who are a threat to society, not petty marijuana sales.

It is important for citizens to understand that in the legalization of marijuana there would be rules and regulations, just like there are for alcohol. Some of these rules include: being 21 or over to be able to purchase, repercussions for being under the influence in the workplace, and other regulations similar to alcohol consumption.

Viets believes Missouri should not treat citizens who utilize marijuana as criminals, similar to how alcohol users are not criminals. He truly believes voting for the legalization of marijuana in 2016 would help the state of Missouri.

Dan Viets

Dan Viets, Columbia laywer and President of Show Me Marijuana