Debunked: Amendment 3 does not contain Critical Race Theory components
The Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC has lambasted social media in recent weeks in efforts to persuade Missourians to vote against Amendment 3, which would legalize marijuana use for those age 21 and over.
But unlike other groups who have opposed the measure, saying it doesn’t go far enough or holds bias against small businesses, The Missouri Consititutional Conservatives PAC has chosen to use claims that Amendment 3 enshrines the Critical Race Theory boogey man often echoed by those who don’t actually understand what Critical Race Theory is.
On the front page of its website, the PAC claims, in all caps, “AMENDMENT 3 IS A VEILED ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE THE MISSOURI CONSTITUTION FOR THE RADICAL AGENDA OF GEORGE SOROS AND THE FAR LEFT.”
The section of Amendment 3 being referred to reads:
“Within 60 days after the effective date of this section, the department shall appoint a chief equity officer. The chief equity officer shall assist with the development and implementation of programs to inform the public of the opportunities available to those people who meet the criteria set forth in paragraph (12) of this subsection. The chief equity officer shall establish public education programming and targeted technical assistance programming dedicated to providing communities that have been impacted by marijuana prohibition with information detailing the licensing process and informing individuals of the support and resources that the office can provide to individuals and entities interested in participating in activity licensed under this Article. The chief equity officer shall provide a report to the department, no later than January 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, of their and the department’s activities in ensuring compliance with the applicant criteria set forth in paragraph (12) of this subsection, and the department shall provide such report to the legislature. The chief equity officer may only be removed for cause and the department shall not interfere with the officer’s lawful official activities under this section.”
What that means is that, similar to employees with Missouri’s Department of Economic Development who seek out and offer assistance and education to small businesses and applicants, the Chief Equity Officer would be responsible for educational resources and outreach designed to target adults who qualify to apply for Missouri’s microbusiness marijuana licenses – a category which includes disabled veterans, residents of areas where more than 30% of the population lives below the federal poverty level or the unemployment rate is 50% higher than the state average rate, and those who have been arrested, prosecuted, or convicted of possession of marijuana – among others.
None of which has anything to do with the implementation of Critical Race Theory, or any significance of race, and absolutely no impact on children in public schools.
- (a) Have a net worth of less than $250,000 and have had an income below two hundred and fifty percent of the federal poverty level, or successor level, as set forth in the applicable calendar year’s federal poverty income guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or its successor agency, for at least three of the ten calendar years prior to applying for a marijuana microbusiness facility license; or
- (b) Have a valid service-connected disability card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or successor agency; or
- (c) Be a person who has been, or a person whose parent, guardian or spouse has been arrested for, prosecuted for, or convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense, except for a conviction involving provision of marijuana to a minor, or a conviction of driving under the influence of marijuana. The arrest, charge, or conviction must have occurred at least one year prior to the effective date of this section; or
- (d) Reside in a ZIP code or census track area where:
- (i) Thirty percent or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level; or
- (ii) The rate of unemployment is fifty percent higher than the state average rate of unemployment; or
- (iii) The historic rate of incarceration for marijuana-related offenses is fifty percent higher than the rate for the entire state; or
- (e) Graduated from a school district that was unaccredited, or had a similar successor designation, at the time of graduation, or has lived in a zip code containing an unaccredited school district, or similar successor designation, for three of the past five years.
Why would an opposition group push a clearly false narrative?
The answer to that may lie within other material on the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC website.
One of only three blog posts on the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives website, titled, “Amendment 3 & the Woke Industry Players,” reads in part:
“What does Karin Chester, SWADE, Jane’s Dispensary, CLOVR, 3Fifteen Primo, and Good Day Farm have in common? They’re the foundation of the woke medical marijuana industry, who are seemingly hyper-focused on the promotion of transgender initiatives. Once again, let us be clear – this is not about cannabis (marijuana). It’s about extreme leftists cornering a market that funds their destructive agendas. These entities are actively pushing, promoting, and funding the trans narrative that many see as an attempted grooming of adolescents. Many are also on board with defunding the police, as well as fighting to make abortions a constitutional right in Missouri.”
The post concludes, “Along with these industry players, the ACLU, BLM, and Empower Missouri are all aligned on the passing of Amendment 3. These entities have their 1st amendment right to speak and support whatever they feel is important. However, we have seen how destructive and dangerous these agendas are and without a free market, these woke companies will have no impediments to their initiatives and will be fortified by an unparalleled revenue stream in a “members only” market. The ~65% of Missourians interested in cannabis will be forced to capitulate to these communist agendas if they want to partake in the new market. Amendment 3 is a danger to Missouri’s Conservative standards on every front; politically, culturally, and economically.”
The site and Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC as a whole make no other mentions of any other actions or proposals, it appears to exist only to oppose Amendment 3 by spreading propaganda slanted toward the alt-right and through division and conspiracy theory.
Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC was founded in April 2022. The PAC reported no contributions through July 15, 2022. To date, Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC has raised approximately $8,000 based on filing information and late additions.
An important note, one of the largest donors to the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC is Crossing Paths PAC, a political action committee whose lobbyist and spokesperson is Eapen Thampy. Thampy’s lobbying firm, Great State Strategies is also listed as a donor to the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC.
Of the roughly $6,458.75 in donations secured by the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC, Crossing Paths has made two in-kind contributions, $912.00 on October 6 and $1,824.00 on October 12, according to documents filed by Crossing Paths with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC only lists one in-kind contribution of $912.00 in their reported filings, shown Below.
It’s important to note that Crossing Paths PAC and Thampy himself also oppose Amendment 3. But unlike the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC, Crossing Paths has more available cash flow, a larger strategic reach, and both Thampy and Crossing Paths have broader name recognition, so why are they bankrolling a much smaller opposition PAC that focuses on disinformation and segregationist scare tactics?