St. Louis marijuana decriminalization bill awaits signature
On Tuesday, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved Board Bill 132, a measure that repeals criminal penalties for marijuana possession and cultivation for adults.
Introduced by Alderman Bret Narayan (D), the bill repeals Ordinance Numbers 66419, 68404 and 69429, which pertain to the possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. The bill would also update local enforcement priorities, and probable cause and reasonable suspicion standards, and disciplinary standards to harmonize City policy with Article XIV of the Missouri State Constitution.
That harmonization expands upon the state’s medical marijuana program and allows adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and cultivate 6 or fewer marijuana plants.
“Except as provided in this Section, no resources of the City of St. Louis shall be expended or otherwise used to enforce laws that permit the punishment for the use or possession of marijuana involving two (2) or less ounces of marijuana, or six (6) or fewer flowering marijuana plants or marijuana paraphernalia against any individual or entity.”
BB132 also establishes the ability for legal patients who are city employees to consume marijuana without fear of termination based on a failed drug test.
All of this points toward net positives in progress toward legalization – there are some important things to remember for cannabis users in St. Louis.
The bill contains language for what constitutes an enforceable violation part of which includes any individual who grows, sells, or transfers marijuana in any space where possession or distribution is prohibited – which means that anyone who doesn’t own their property and has a standard lease is still without protections in many cases.
And while the bill does clarify probable cause and reasonable suspicion in section 4, it’s important to be aware that those with state-issued medical marijuana cards are afforded the most protection.
The bill was passed as amended with 23 “aye” votes and currently awaits Mayor Jones’ signature.
Today, the #STLBOA passed BB 132, which will repeal unjust marijuana laws while making St. Louis safer and more competitive.
— Mayor Tishaura O. Jones (@saintlouismayor) November 23, 2021