MARIJUANA LAWS IN MISSOURI: POSSESSION, MEDICAL USE & MORE
Posted: October 26, 2016
With legislation being written across the country to allow medical marijuana usage, how marijuana crimes are defined as a whole are also being shaken up. In Missouri, some of the state’s own legal definitions of drug crimes are in flux, and it can make it difficult for residents to understand what is and is not considered illegal. If you are concerned with Missouri’s marijuana laws, the following review of some of the most important legal statutes may help.
Four of the most prominent marijuana law concepts in Missouri are:
- Medical marijuana: The Missouri Secretary of State recently announced in early October 2016 that the state will not establish a medical marijuana program in 2017. Petitions to create the program and effectively allow medical marijuana in certain situations without legal backlash apparently fell short by only 23 signatures. At this time, medical marijuana is illegal in Missouri.
- Decriminalized simple possession: On January 1st, 2017, simple possession of marijuana for recreational use will be decriminalized. This does not mean that it will be legal; rather, people carrying small amounts of marijuana – likely an ounce or less – will receive a citation instead of being arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Citations generally include legal fines up to $500, cannot include jail time, and do not put a criminal mark on someone’s record. However, anyone convicted previously for a marijuana-related crime cannot benefit from the upcoming decriminalization of simple possession.
- Criminal possession: A person found in possession of less than 35 grams can be charged with misdemeanor marijuanapossession. This carries up to $1,000 in fine and 364 days in jail. Anything more than 35 grams constitutes a felony. Sentencing for felonies in Missouri usually include at least one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Marijuana possession penalties max out at $20,000 fine and life in prison, which is generally reserved for possession crimes paired with trafficking and sale.
- Paraphernalia: It is strictly illegal to possess, use, or sell any sort of paraphernalia with the explicit purpose of use with marijuana. Anything that helps with harvesting, cultivation, storage, etc. is also considered to be illegal paraphernalia. Most paraphernalia charges constitute a class A misdemeanor.
If you need further help understanding Missouri’s marijuana laws, or if you need defense after being arrested for a marijuana-related crime in Missouri, Worsham Law Firm is the legal office you should turn to for representation. Our Springfield drug crime attorneys bring 20+ years of criminal defense case experience to the table, enabling them to advocate on your behalf amidst virtually any drug charges. Call 417.658.4172 to request your case evaluation today.