Missouri Senate Bill 491 | MO’s Push for Weed Decriminalization

Missouri is now a legal state for medical marijuana, but six years ago, in 2014, the Missouri legislature passed an amended Uniform Penal Code that greatly reduces the legal consequences for possession of nonmedical marijuana. We were able to pass the law, SB 491. Judges, legislators, and lawyers have spent eight years working on this bill. Other recent changes to Missouri law allowed certified medical marijuana patients to purchase, grow, and consume medical marijuana at home. See how Missouri SB 491 played a key role in the Show-Me-State movement toward decriminalization.

What does Missouri Senate Bill 491 mean to me?

Missouri Senate Bill 491 Passed May 13, 2014. What’s the purpose? Amending Missouri’s criminal code to update what constitutes a marijuana possession offense. This long-outdated bill had not changed since 1979, and much of the legislature realized it needed reform.

In 2010, about 19,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in Missouri alone. Anyone could be arrested, fined, and jailed regardless of how much marijuana they consumed. The bill, however, argued that it provided a glimpse of progress toward decriminalizing marijuana statewide and even nationally.

What were the results of the Missouri SB491 ballot in the House and Senate?

The House of Representatives approved the bill 140-15, and the Senate passed the reform bill 29-2. Governor Jay Nixon allowed the bill to become law without his signature pointing out several “drafting” errors, but on January 1, 2017, all updated provisions were enacted. I was.

What changes did SB 491 make to Missouri law?

Lawmakers who enacted SB 491 reduced penalties for anyone possessing up to 10 grams of marijuana. The first offense is now punishable as a Class D misdemeanor (violation), fined $250 to her $1,000 without imprisonment.

Growing less than 35 grams is a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Cultivating more than 35 grams is a class C felony and from 3 years he will be sentenced to 10 years in prison and he will be fined $10,000.

What did people think of the Missouri SB491?

SB491 replaces the previous penalty of up to one year’s imprisonment and a fine, but the conviction will still appear on the defendant’s record. Some critics rightly argue that this isn’t really decriminalization, and that it shouldn’t undermine the broader aim of the full decriminalization of marijuana.

However, many were quick to support this as a bold move forward for drug reform in Missouri. Jack Brady, president of the Missouri Bar Association in Kansas City, said: “This update and reorganization of the Missouri Penal Code will make us safer, create a fairer system, and make better use of taxpayer funds.”

The Future of Decriminalization Law in Missouri

Missouri is on track to legalize recreational marijuana this year. There is very strong Missouri support for the New Approach Initiative, which would likely have participated in and passed the ballot had it not been for the pandemic. It contained language that would allow the dismissal of a marijuana possession charge.

Efforts are already underway to collect signatures to legalize recreational marijuana again in November 2022 and revisit decades of war on drugs policies.

Additional Resources on Missouri Cannabis Law and Medical Programs

On The Weed blog, you’ll find everything from reviews of certain top cannabis strains to enthusiasts who know the best video games to play while burning joints. We are committed to imparting valuable information to you and encourage you to consider these other top notch articles on cannabis in Missouri!

Is CBD Legal in Missouri? (Weed Blog)

How to get a medical card in Missouri (The Weed blog)

Missouri Amendment 2 (The Weed blog)

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