BY DAN CARCIONE
ST. LOUIS, MO. – For the second year in a row, restaurants and retail businesses on Cherokee Street in St. Louis came together to host a “Crawl for Cannabis” . The crawl featured discounted specials at participating businesses, a live music concert, a raffle and a prize auction. Patrons at the event were not be permitted to smoke marijuana at the event, and could still be arrested and prosecuted for the consumption of all illegal narcotics.
“Crawl for Cannabis” is a movement that aims to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Missouri. The event was a neighborhood business crawl promoting local businesses and supporting Show-Me Cannabis; the leading organization structuring marijuana law reform in Missouri. The event is sponsored by New Approach Missouri, an organization dedicated to push for the legalization of cannabis in the state.
A $15 ticket got patrons access to the crawl and a “Show-Me Cannabis” bottle opener. A $35 ticket would allow access to the crawl, the bottle opener, a Crawl for Cannabis STL tee-shirt, one raffle ticket and entrance to an after-party at 2720 Cherokee. Check in for the crawl starts at Mr. Nice Guy at 2632 Cherokee St. 63118. Patrons received a map of participating businesses and a poncho in case of inclement weather.
Businesses supporting the Crawl for Cannabis parade were offering discounts and specials throughout the evening to promote the event. The Crawl for Cannabis Facebook event lists participating businesses including: 2720 Cherokee, Foam, The Fortune Teller Bar, I Scream Cakes, Mr. Nice Guy Cherokee St., Art Monster, Melt, Yaquis on Cherokee, Blank Space, The Whiskey Ring, The Blue Pearl, Elaine’s, Byrd & Barrell, Chaparritos, Hop Shop, Little Dipper, Upcycle Exchange/Cranky Yellow, Kismet , San Loo and more.
Like last year, promoters of the Crawl will be asking patrons to sign petitions advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana in the state of Missouri. The Crawl for Cannabisevent organizers said 2016 is an important year for marijuana rights in the state; several separate initiatives on the ballet for Nov. 8 could allow a constitutional amendment to the Missouri constitution.
The first initiative would legalize marijuana only in a medical capacity to be prescribed by medical professionals. The second measure, upon voter approval, would give people 21 years of age or older the right to produce, sell, distribute, and consume marijuana and the right to manufacture goods from hemp. Signatures in support of the initiative must be submitted by May 8 in order to be included on the November ballot.
In 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported over 18,000 marijuana-related arrests in Missouri. Another pro-marijuana group, Show Me Cannabis, advocates for not only the legalization of recreational marijuana, but also a change to criminal provisions for marijuana offenses and allow individuals who have certain marijuana-related offenses to apply to have the records relating to the offenses expunged.