St. Louis Aldermen Vote to Reduce Marijuana Penalties

Apr 15, 2013 , , , , ,

The Board of Aldermen, the law-making body of St. Louis, Missouri, voted 22 to 3 in favor of reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana in the city to that of a traffic ticket.

St. Louis Alderman Shane Cohn
Alderman Shane Cohn

Introduced earlier this year by Alderman Shane Cohn, the law gives police officers the option to redistribute some marijuana cases to the municipal court system, essentially making a criminal infraction a municipal offense.

Due to the absence of local marijuana laws in St. Louis, police charge offenders under the severe state laws.

“[Missouri] has some of the most draconian laws in the nation,” John Payne, executive director of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The ordinance reduces the penalty to a $100 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

The policy goes into effect June 1.

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