Missouri Republicans have learned their latest replacement nominee in House District 47 set up a political committee last year promoting the legalization of marijuana. Mitch Richards of Columbia was picked to run for the newly drawn legislative seat by a handful of Boone County Republican officials. The GOP was desperate because its first candidate suddenly quit the race. Two replacement nominees also bailed out. Richards, who arrived in Columbia from Montana about four years ago, became the fourth pick, apparently without a background check. Official state paperwork shows that on June 14, 2011, Richards created a political committee called Show-Me Cannabis Regulation. The group’s website calls it “an association of organizations and individuals who believe that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy.” Richards listed himself with the Missouri Ethics Commission as the pro-pot PAC’s founding treasurer, using his Columbia address and phone number. The same phone number appeared this weekend on Richards’ Republican campaign website. When Richards stepped aside as treasurer, his address and phone number remained as the PAC’s official contacts. The Columbia Daily Tribune quoted Richards as saying he has“some libertarian views.” The Libertarian Party’s ”Issues” web page calls for“ending drug prohibition.” Richards kept up his activities as a marijuana legalization activist into this year. Show-Me Cannabis Regulation posted a video of Richards confronting Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum about marijuana laws during a Columbia stop in February. Richards has waded into other local controversies, including a debate about whether Columbia police should carry tasers. The pro-pot activist once signed a local blog article declaring: “Aside from biological or nuclear, there are no weapons that are too dangerous for me to own.” What is Mitch Richards smoking?