JOPLIN, Mo. —
The case for marijuana reform will be presented tonight as members of Show-Me Cannabis host a viewing of “America’s Longest War” followed by a question-and-answer session with the group’s executive director, John Payne.
The presentation of the 2013 documentary is slated for 6 p.m. at JB’s Piano Bar at 112 S. Main St. in Joplin. Payne, whose efforts with the organization that advocates the legalization and regulation of marijuana in Missouri, collected more than 70,000 signatures in a 2012 statewide effort to put the issue on the ballot. He said that the group is now increasing efforts across the state to start a discussion about how marijuana is dealt with in Missouri.
“A lot of what we do is finding the people out there to support the issue and for them to be vocal about it because people are afraid to talk about it,” Payne said. “Times have appeared to change over the past decade with voters stepping up all over the country, but there is a taboo about drugs and we have worked towards breaking that wall down to open the floor to discussion.”
Much of the group’s views on marijuana reform in Missouri center on current prohibition as a failed policy. While the group is focused on marijuana reform, the film goes more in depth in dealing with the “war on drugs and the cost to United States in fighting this war.”
The group’s Facebook page for the event over the weekend had 127 guests attending the film tonight.
“Our normal attendance is about 100 people for the other cities that we have done this event at,” Payne said. “We don’t expect the event here to be any less than that. We have really good people on the ground in Joplin, and word is getting out about the film and the discussion, which is what we want.”
Ahead of tonight’s showing, other groups opposing marijuana have stepped up efforts to reach out to the public. The Alliance for Southwest Missouri, a local nonprofit that works toward preventing unhealthy behaviors, sent out a news release along with a fact sheet detailing the medical and social impact of marijuana use.
Want to attend?
TODAY’S EVENT is free of charge, though the group is soliciting donations to cover the cost of the event. Payne, along with Reason Foundation president and film co-producer David Nott, will field questions from the audience after the documentary’s showing.