FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ST. LOUIS CITY The Honorable Robert
H. Dierker, Jr., Circuit Judge
FISCHER, CHIEF JUSTICE
Shanklin appeals from a judgment convicting him 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. Shanklin argues the
statutes prohibiting marijuana cultivation and possession are
unconstitutional as applied to him because article I, section
35 of the Missouri Constitution protects "the right of
farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching
practices." Article I, section 35 protects the right to
engage in lawful farming and ranching practices. It does not
create a new constitutional right to engage in the illegal
drug trade. The circuit court's judgment is
and Procedural History
Louis City police detectives went to Shanklin's residence
after a "utility inquiry" showed excessive
electricity use consistent with marijuana cultivation.
Shanklin answered the door and consented to a search. Police
discovered more than 300 live marijuana plants. Police also
discovered several hundred grams of packaged marijuana, a
mesh dryer, and a digital scale commonly used to prepare and
package marijuana for distribution. Shanklin told police he
was growing marijuana to help pay off his stepchildren's
debts and for his own use.
State charged Shanklin with producing a controlled substance
in violation of § 195.211 (Count I), possession of a
controlled substance with intent to distribute in violation
of § 195.211 (Count II), and possession of drug
paraphernalia in violation of § 195.233 (Count
III). Shanklin filed a motion to dismiss Counts
I and II arguing §§ 195.211 and
195.017 are unconstitutional, both facially and as
applied, because the statutes violate the constitutional
right to farm guaranteed by article I, section 35.
circuit court overruled Shanklin's motion to dismiss. The
circuit court found beyond a reasonable doubt Shanklin was
guilty of the charged offenses and sentenced him to
concurrent terms of five years' imprisonment on Counts I
and II and one year on Count III with the possibility of
probation after 120 days pursuant to § 559.115. Shanklin
to the constitutional validity of a state statute are subject
to de novo review." Hill v. Boyer, 480 S.W.3d
311, 313 (Mo. banc 2016). A statute is presumed
constitutional and will be found unconstitutional only if
"it clearly and unambiguously contravenes a
constitutional provision." Lopez-Matias v.
State, 504 S.W.3d 716, 718 (Mo. banc 2016). "The
person challenging the validity of the statute has the burden
of proving the act clearly and undoubtedly violates the
constitutional limitations." State v. Vaughn,
366 S.W.3d 513, 517 (Mo. banc 2012).
I, Section 35
2013, the General Assembly passed a joint resolution
referring a constitutional amendment to voters to add section
35 to article I of the Missouri Constitution.
Shoemyer v. Mo. Sec'y of State, 464
S.W.3d 171, 173 (Mo. banc 2015). In 2014, Missouri voters
approved article I, section 35, which provides:
That agriculture which provides food, energy, health
benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing
force of Missouri's economy. To protect this vital sector
of Missouri's economy, the right of farmers and ranchers
to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever
guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers,
if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of
argues that, as a result of this amendment, his marijuana
cultivation and harvest was constitutionally protected.
Shanklin claims §§ 195.211 and 195.017 are
unconstitutional as applied to what he contends is a
"farming practice" protected by article I, section
construing a constitutional amendment, the "fundamental
purpose of constitutional construction is to give effect to
the intent of the voters who adopted the Amendment."
Sch. Dist. of Kan. City v. State,317 S.W.3d 599,
605 (Mo. banc 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted).
"This Court's primary goal in interpreting
Missouri's constitution is to ascribe to the words of a
constitutional provision the meaning that the people
understood them to have when the provision was adopted."
State v. Honeycutt, 421 S.W.3d 410, 414-15 (Mo. banc
2013) (internal quotation marks omitted). "Words used in
constitutional provisions ...