Today the St. Louis Board of Aldermen (their City Council) voted 22-3 to significantly reduce charges associated with possessing small amounts of marijuana. Its passage sends it to the city’s mayor, who plans to sign the measure short of any legal flaw being found. The proposal was supported by the city attorney.
If passed, the bill would give police officers the option to give individuals a summons to appear in municipal court (like a traffic ticket) rather than arresting them. In addition, the ordinance would reduce the penalties associated with possessing small amounts of marijuana to a $100-$500 ticket, and up to 90 days in prison – currently possessing up to 35 grams can net someone up to a year.
“I think this is a good step for the city of St. Louis,” stated Alderman Shane Cohn, one of the prime backers of the proposal, “It doesn’t legalize marijuana, but it gives fairness.”
John Payne, Director of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation – a non-profit group working through the legislative and initiative process to bring legalization in Missouri – stated that he was pleased with the vote and hoped it would lead to legalization in Missouri.