With overwhelming support Missouri’s House and Senate has approved Senate Bill 491, a proposal to reform the state’s criminal code which includes a provision that decriminalizes the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis. The measure, which has been sent to Governor Jay Nixon for consideration, was approved 29 to 2 in the Senate, and 140 to 15 in the House. The supermajority vote means that the Legislature would likely override a veto if Governor Nixon decides to take that route.
Under current Missouri law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can net someone a prison sentence of up to a year. Under Senate Bill 491, the charge for possessing of up to 10 grams of cannabis would be reduced to a simple fine, similar to a traffic ticket.
The measure includes several other reforms, including removing a mandate that finds someone convicted for the third time on a drug felony charge automatically denied probation and parole.
Governor Nixon has yet to declare what he’ll do with the bill; he has the option of vetoing it, signing it into law or allowing it to become law without his signature.