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SSDP Takes Initative on Local Ballot Issue


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Kyle Maddy, freshman public relations major and president of Missouri Southern's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policies (SSDP), said he and other members of SSDP are prepared to see that the Sensible Sentencing Initiative will appear on the ballot in November.

The initiative would decriminalize marijuana within the Joplin city limits. To get the initiative on the November ballot Maddy and his brother, Kelly Maddy, president of Sensible Joplin, will need to have the signatures of 5,000 registered Joplin-area voters.

Currently the two, with the help of their friends, have been able to get 3,000 signatures. But their goal is 10,000 because of the chance of illegible signatures and unregistered voters signing the petition and getting thrown out later.

"Joplin voters need to decide for themselves," Kyle Maddy said. "We're not condoning use of marijuana. We just want to allow police to focus on more serious crimes like theft, rape and other more violent crimes."

Since the semester only started a couple of weeks ago and SSDP just had its first meeting Wednesday night, Kyle Maddy hasn't had a chance to get any help from other members of his group. He has already started talking to students in the Lions' Den to get signatures, then a signature rally at the Blackthorn on Tuesday, and is planning to do more campaigning on campus and taking his group into the community to gather signatures.

Kyle Maddy said he isn't always greeted by the nicest people while out trying to get signatures but he is finding more and more people agreeing with him, even if he has to argue a little with them first.

Kendrick Irvin, an area resident who attended the signature rally, said our country has more important things to worry about.

"First of all I don't think it would be that big of a deal if it was legalized, in fact less people would probably do it if it was," Irvin said. "But more importantly I'd like to just smoke without worrying about getting into trouble."

Source: Chart The (Missouri Southern State U,MO Edu)
Copyright: 2008 The Chart
Contact: :chart@mssu.edu
Website: Chart
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