Two Missouri communities voted to decriminalize cannabis possession on Tuesday, according to a 5 on Your Side report.
The St. Louis, Missouri County Council voted to decriminalize cannabis possession up to 35 grams, reducing the penalty from a potential $1,000 fine or a year in jail to a fine up to $100. The legislation, which passed 6-1, was sponsored by Tim Fitch, a former St. Louis County police chief.
In 2018, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said her office would no longer prosecute cannabis possession charges up to 100 grams.
Doug Moore, spokesman for County Executive Dr. Sam Page, told KSDK that Page will sign the bill into law.
The Maplewood City Council also set the possession limits at 35 grams and the penalty at just $1.00. The city’s legislation, championed by Councilwoman Sarah Crosley, is modeled after that approved by Webster Groves City Council in March 2020.
“I’m grateful for the Council’s unwavering support on my first policy initiative, and my hope is that this legislation will inspire other municipalities in the county to take similar action.” – Crosley, in a statement, via 5 on Your Side
Cannabis remains outlawed in the state although a legalization bill has been read twice in the House of Representatives. That measure, a constitutional amendment introduced by Republican Rep. Shamed Dogan, has neither been assigned to a committee nor a House calendar.
The “Smarter and Safer Missouri Act” would set adult-use sales taxes at 12% while keeping medical cannabis taxes at 4%. Funds derived from the program would be used for infrastructure, veterans, and drug treatment programs. The bill also removes caps on cannabis industry licenses.
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