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Missouri Rep. Ron Hicks wants to pass marijuana legalization before voters do

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Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Defiance, sitting in St. Louis Public Radio's Jefferson City office
Sarah Kellogg
St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Defiance, is serving his last term as a member of the Missouri House. In his final year, he is hoping to pass a sweeping marijuana bill that would legalize the use of cannabis recreationally in Missouri.

Several initiative petition proposals could put legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Missouri on the November ballot.

However, a recently filed bill by Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Defiance, would legalize the drug before then and give the legislature the ability to later make any changes if issues arise.

Hicks represents the 102nd District, which includes parts of O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, St. Peters and Wentzville.

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, Hicks talks about his HB 2704, which is over 70 pages and not only legalizes the drug, but also establishes other policies related to marijuana.

Here are some of the things Hicks talked about on the show:

  • What he’s hoping to accomplish beyond recreational marijuana in his last year in the Missouri House.
  • His thoughts on the 2022 legislative session so far. Hicks said the beginning of the session has been disappointing and had hoped the legislature would have accomplished more by now.
  • The lack of progress on congressional redistricting. During debate on the House floor, Hicks introduced a proposed map that would have established a 7-1 Republican majority. That amendment was unsuccessful, and Hicks ended up voting for the 6-2 map.
  • Other marijuana legislation he has filed, including expunging prior nonviolent marijuana offenses for Missourians who have a medical marijuana card.

Hicks first ran for election to the House in 2012. He served until 2016, when he took two years off, running again in 2018. He is term-limited from running again in the House and hasn’t publicly said what he will do next. 

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg
Follow Ron Hicks on Twitter: @RNHCKS

Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.