JEFFERSON CITY - New Approach Missouri has hired successful political consultant Jack Cardetti for their campaign to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. Cardetti has worked on a number of political campaigns in the past, including Gov. Jay Nixon's and Secretary of State Jason Kander's.
As his first event with New Approach Missouri, Cardetti attended a fundraiser for the Missouri marijuana advocacy group Show-Me Cannabis at Busch Stadium. Show-Me Cannabis executive director and treasurer John Payne said Cardetti can do a lot for the campaign.
"I think that Jack's experience can be brought to bear to help us assemble the best possible campaign team and to raise money that's necessary to get this issue before voters. That's really the key," Payne said.
Past petitions for the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri have failed due to lack of signatures. Cardetti said that this issue is something for 2016.
"We think it's a really timely issue," Cardetti said. 'What we're gonna do is seek to have Missouri be the 24th state that allows physicians to recommend small amounts of marijuana to patients that are suffering serious and debilitating illnesses."
Unlike past campaigns, New Approach Missouri is using a variety of resources that include hiring Cardetti as a consultant.
"Things we are doing differently, I think you can see from the approach we're taking, we've hired a professional consultant and we're doing polling," said Payne. "This is a very professional campaign now."
Payne says Show-Me Cannabis plans to support the efforts of New Approach Missouri.
Currently, the campaign is in its early stages.
"We're really in the coalition building stage right now," Cardetti said. "We'll be talking to health care professionals, to patient advocates and others to really get their take on what ought to be in this mission petition before it's filed with the state."
Cardetti said the campaign will focus on getting signatures for the petition. He said that because the legalization of medical marijuana is not a new issue, there will be enough support throughout the state to get it on the ballot next year.
"It really ought to be up to physicians and patients to decide what the best form of medical treatment is," Cardetti said. "We just feel strongly that this ought to be an option, at least, on the table."