Voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults.
Despite a slew of groups and elected officials calling for its defeat, “yes” votes for Amendment 3 outpaced “no” votes by a 53-47 margin with all precincts counted, according to unofficial results reported by the Secretary of State.
An hour after the polls closed, vote tallies had not come in from many of the state’s rural Republican strongholds. Early returns, for example, in Cole County, home to the state Capitol, showed the initiative losing 56-44.
St. Louis County residents clearly favored legal weed, voting 59% to 41% for the measure. Support was even more pronounced in the city of St. Louis, where it passed 73% to 27%.
Amendment 3 would alter the state constitution by making it legal for those 21 and older to buy and use marijuana. Before Tuesday, 19 states had legalized recreational marijuana for adults in the past decade.
In addition to Missouri, four other states had recreational marijuana on the ballot Tuesday. Maryland voters approved legalization; Arkansas and North Dakota voters did not. Legalization also appeared to be losing in South Dakota.
Its spread in other states was enough to win the support of south St. Louis resident Petrit Beka, 53.
“Why not us?” Beka said.
Aubrey Evans, 39, said Amendment 3 was one of the main draws for her on Election Day. She said it was “stupid” that marijuana was still illegal, and that there were “too many people sitting in prison” because of it. Concerns about how licenses would be handed out and enshrining the law in the constitution wasn’t enough to dissuade her.
“There’s always going to be some sort of red tape or things to work out,” Evans said Tuesday outside the Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Center in University City.
The push to legalize pot via a ballot initiative comes after Missouri lawmakers have been unable to agree on legislation that would have launched something similar.Mac’s Autoparts