Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signs marijuana decriminalization bill in St. Louis


On Monday, Tishaura O. Jones signed Board Bill 132, repealing criminal penalties for marijuana possession and cultivation for adults in the city of St. Louis.

The bill, introduced by Alderman Bret Narayan (D), repeals Ordinance Numbers 66419, 68404, and 69429, which pertain to the possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

The bill also holds numerous connotations as to how law enforcement handles marijuana in St. Louis. The smell or presence of marijuana alone, for instance, is no longer grounds for arrest or search and does not constitute probable cause in the city.

Additionally, the city is prohibited from using resources to enforce state or federal laws as they pertain to marijuana possession for less than two ounces.

“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.

“Subject to Civil Service Commission Rule and/or Department of Personnel Regulation, any city employee who is a Qualified Patient may present their medical marijuana card to avoid adverse employer actions based on a positive drug test for marijuana.”

Since 2018, of nearly 600 marijuana-related arrests in the City of St. Louis, over 80 percent of those individuals were Black.