State Rep. Ron Hicks (R-Defiance) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on May 12, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Veteran Missouri lawmaker is hopeful his marijuana legislation will pass this year

State Rep. Ron Hicks (R-Defiance) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on May 12, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

A veteran Missouri lawmaker has filed a bill to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older, and to release non-violent marijuana offenders from prison.

State Rep. Ron Hicks (R-Defiance) spoke on 939 the Eagle’s “Randy Tobler show.”

“It’s coming whether we want to do it this way or not, it’s coming. And right now, you have initiative petition process out there with some legislation. So number two, that’s it right there,” Hicks says.

Hicks’ 74-page bill, House Bill 2704, also allows bars and restaurants to provide legal marijuana consumption spaces. He emphasizes that private employers could still drug-test, under the bill.

“If you’re a private business and you want to have rules to where you (your employees) can’t use marijuana, that’s fine. You can do that, my bill is not going to touch on the private side of that,” says Hicks.

Hicks’ bill would also create a protocol for Missourians to expunge prior marijuana offenses.

Hicks, one of the most conservative Republicans in the Legislature, is in his eighth and final year in the House.

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