St. Louis Marijuana Laws — What You Need to Know
Ryan Bradley | May 26, 2023 | Missouri Law
Marijuana possession and usage laws are complicated in Missouri and throughout the United States. The drug is subject to federal and state laws, which do not always agree with one another. One could be in compliance with state law only to be in violation of federal laws. This situation is easily seen when examining the Show Me State’s marijuana laws.
Marijuana Possession in Missouri
Missouri is one of several states that has decriminalized recreational use and possession of marijuana and marijuana plants. You are permitted to possess up to three ounces of marijuana, approximately 85 grams, at any time without facing any criminal penalty. This is the result of a change in the law that went into effect in 2022.
The same law also permits individuals to cultivate up to six marijuana plants under 14 inches in height, up to six flowering marijuana plants, and up to six immature plants, all of which can be possessed in connection with personal use. To do so, you must possess a personal cultivation registration card available from the state.
This law, which was known at the time of its passage as Missouri Amendment 3, continues a history going back approximately a decade of decriminalizing marijuana possession.
In 2014, the state voted to remove jail penalties for first-time offenses for possessing up to 10 grams of marijuana.
Your first offense under this law of possessing less than ten grams of marijuana was still considered to be a misdemeanor, but it was punishable by a fine only. A second or subsequent offense involving this quantity carries an increased fine and up to one year in jail.
How St. Louis Has Handled Marijuana Possession
The City of St. Louis had also previously reduced the penalties for possession of marijuana within city limits. As early as 2013, individuals possessing small amounts of marijuana would simply be cited and fined. In 2018, the city voted to reduce the fine from several hundred dollars per offense to 25 dollars.
Sale, Trafficking, and Cultivation of Marijuana in Missouri
It remains illegal for you to sell or distribute marijuana or marijuana-infused products unless you are operating a lawfully registered and operating dispensary. This means you may not possess marijuana as a private citizen and then sell that marijuana to others. Similarly, you cannot make edibles or marijuana-infused products in your home and then sell these products to others.
Unlawfully selling or distributing marijuana is a felony both within and outside the city limits of St. Louis. Depending on the circumstances, you could face 15 years or more in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Other Marijuana Laws in St. Louis to Know
Missouri law regulates where you can consume marijuana and marijuana products. Specifically, you are permitted to use marijuana in a private setting, such as in your home or a friend’s home.
However, you are prohibited from using marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. It is still illegal to drive while impaired by marijuana, and you could be subject to civil liability if you hit and cause injury to someone.
A Summary of Missouri Marijuana Laws
Marijuana in Missouri may be legal to possess, but that does not give you the green light to use the substance everywhere and in every circumstance. The safest bet continues to be using marijuana in the privacy of your own home or at a private event on private property. This includes within the city limits of the City of St. Louis.
You should also remember that just because marijuana use is legal does not mean you are shielded from civil liability if you hurt someone while impaired.
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