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
possession. 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
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
request your case evaluation today.