Show-Me Cannabis Initiative, a petition now circulating in Missouri, seeks to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot to legalize marijuana in the state for people aged 21 or over. The Show-Me Cannabis petition would allow Missouri to regulate the sale, distribution and legal enforcement of marijuana in the same way the state currently regulates alcohol sales.

The petition was approved on Nov. 7 for circulation in the state by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Based in Columbia, Show-Me Cannabis is a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens spearheading this effort invites you to join us in bringing to light and addressing the problems of our current, failed policy of prohibition, according to the group's Web site. Show-Me Cannabis Regulation is an association of organizations and individuals who believe that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy, and regulating cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol would better control the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis than the current criminal market system does.

Show-Me Cannabis Regulation seeks to engage Missourians in a serious, public discussion about the issues associated with the cannabis consumption, including medical cannabis, industrial hemp, public safety and economic cost/benefit analysis in order to address problems associated with the current, failed policy.

The petition asks for a massive repeal of criminal prohibitions against marijuana in Missouri, known as the Show Me state. The petition asks for the release of those already incarcerated on non-violent, cannabis-only offenses and a clearing of their criminal records. Columbia attorney Dan Viets submitted the petition, on behalf of Show-Me Cannabis Initiative.

Viets, 59, is known as a tireless crusader for the legalization of marijuana, both on the state and federal level. The Columbia defense attorney once owned a drug paraphernalia shop, according to the Missourian, and he is currently among those pushing to get the required 100,000 signatures from eight out of the state's nine congressional districts to get the legalization of marijuana initiative on the 2012 Missouri ballot.50,000 more signatures are required to put the initiative on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.

That's what Viets is going for. He's hopeful the petition will get the required 150,000 signatures since according to a recent Gallup poll, 54 percent of the people living in the Midwest support legalizing marijuana. The petitions are due to the Secretary of State's office by May 6, 2012.