State v. Shanklin

Article I, section 35 of the Missouri Constitution, which protects “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices” does not create a new constitutional right to engage in the illegal drug trade. Defendant appealed his convictions of producing more than five grams of marijuana, possession of more than five grams of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia, arguing that the statutes prohibiting marijuana cultivation and possession violate the constitutional right to farm guaranteed by article I, section 35. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the plain, ordinary, and natural meaning of article I, section 35 demonstrates no purpose to sub silentio repeal laws criminalizing the cultivation or possession of controlled substances; and (2) Defendant’s marijuana cultivation operation was not a farming practice to be protected by article I, section 35. View "State v. Shanklin" on Justia Law