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In 2014, Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment creating a new constitutional amendment to protect the right to farm and ranch in their state. This amendment is broader protection than the state’s right-to-farm law which just protects an agricultural operation against nuisance lawsuits. But in approving the constitutional amendment, did Missouri voters create a new right to grow and cultivate marijuana in Missouri? A few criminal defendants had tried to claim the new constitutional amendment preempted state drug law related to growing marijuana. The Supreme Court of Missouri recently held that the right-to-farm constitutional amendment did not create a new right to grow marijuana in the state (Missouri v. Shanklin).Read More
Note: This post originally appeared in the Delmarva Farmer July 22, 2014, Vol. 39, No. 20. This post does not also substitute for legal advice.
State constitutions typically guarantee their citizens freedom of speech, the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and the right to a jury trial, but what about a right to farm? In the past few years, a few states in the Midwest have put forward constitutional amendments which enshrine a right to farm in their states’ constitutions. In 2012, North Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing just that - a right to farm using modern agricultural technology and practices. This year, voters in Missouri and Oklahoma will consider constitutional amendments which guarantee farmers in their states a right to farm.Read More