The mayor of St. Louis on Monday signed a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession and cultivation for adults, a local reform that comes as efforts to legalize cannabis statewide in Missouri are also gaining momentum. The St. Louis ordinance signing comes weeks after the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the legislation, which makes it so adults 21 and older can possess up to two ounces of cannabis without facing the civil penalty that’s currently in place. It would also make it so that “no resources” could be spent to punish adults for cultivating up to six flowering plants. Importantly, the measure only affects local policy and does not change Missouri state laws that continue to criminalize marijuana for non-medical use. “We are seeing a major shift in the way our country sees not just marijuana, but how it connects to public safety, incarceration, and economic opportunity in our communities,” Mayor Tishaura Jones (D) said at a signing ceremony. “This law will help reduce racial disparities in our policing, make our city safer and make St. Louis more competitive in hiring for city positions.” The newly enacted policy will further permit city employees who are medical cannabis patients to present their state-issued ID cards “to avoid adverse employment actions based on a positive drug test for marijuana.” Police will also be prevented from using the smell or visual presence of marijuana smoke as a basis to conduct a search or arrest someone.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/13/2021 14:10:00

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