Missouri Alderwoman Megan Green is introducing an ordinance in St. Louis to prevent the use of city resources to enforce laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. Specifically, the ordinance would:
- Prohibit city police and other officials from using city resources to enforce marijuana prohibition against adults; and
- Continue to enforce marijuana prohibition laws against minors and those who provide marijuana to minors.
Alderwoman Green said, “We’ve come to a point as a country, and as a city, where marijuana usage is not taboo in the way that it used to be.”
And people across Missouri are beginning to agree.
Earlier this year, voters in Kansas City approved a measure to reduce the penalties for simple possession of marijuana, amending local laws regarding possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil offense punishable by a $25 fine.
Also in Missouri, there is a citizen initiative to place a measure on the 2018 ballot that would implement a medical marijuana program. New Approach Missouri is leading the campaign. Please visit their website to get involved.
MPP worked closely with Alderwoman Green and others allies in St. Louis to provide guidance on the details of the proposed ordinance and we thank her for being a leader on this issue.
With all of this local government involvement and citizen-initiated activity, let’s not forget that Missouri’s legislature is at a standstill. If you are a Missouri resident, please tell your state representatives to move forward with improving the state’s marijuana policies.
Voters in Kansas City — the largest city in Missouri and the sixth largest city in the Midwest — overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure on Tuesday to reduce the city's penalties for marijuana possession.
The Kansas City Star reports:
The measure lowers the maximum fine for marijuana possession in city court to $25 from $500 and eliminates jail time as a penalty. Under the old ordinance, a sentence of 180 days was possible.
The change applies only to cases in Kansas City Municipal Court in which defendants possessed 35 grams or less of marijuana — about 1 1/4 ounces.
The issue landed on the ballot through a petition drive led by the Kansas City chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Jamie Kacz, executive director of NORML KC, said residents who signed the petitions sent a message that they don’t want people jailed or fined heavily for marijuana offenses.
The ballot measure also eliminates city charges for possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia, which carried penalties of 15 days to six months in jail and fines from $100 to $500.