What does the law say?
Lets get one thing straight, possession of marijuana is illegal in Missouri. Recently there has been talk in the news about the “Decriminalization” of marijuana in Missouri. This has some people confused and wondering what’s legal and what’s not. First we need to understand what the law states about the possession of marijuana, then we can look at what will change with SB 491.
Current law gives the following classifications about possession of marijuana:
- Up to 35 grams. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
- More than 35 grams up to 30 kilograms. A violation is a felony, punishable with a fine of up to $5,000, up to seven years in prison, or both.
- Trafficking between 30 and 100 kilograms. Someone who possesses, buys, or brings between 30 and 100 kilograms of marijuana into Missouri, is guilty of trafficking drugs in the second degree. A violation is a felony, punishable with a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, between five and 15 years in prison, or both.
- Trafficking 100 or more kilograms. Someone who possesses, buys, or brings between 100 or more kilograms of marijuana (or more than 500 marijuana plants) into Missouri, is guilty of trafficking drugs in the second degree. A violation is a felony, punishable with a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, between ten years and life imprisonment, or both
What is SB 491 and what does it change?
SB 491 was a bill that was passed into law on May 13, 2014. The law however will not go into affect until January 1, 2017. Here is what the law states regarding possession of marijuana:
The offense of possession of more than ten grams but less than 36 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is a class A misdemeanor.
The offense of possession of not more than 10 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is a class D misdemeanor. If the defendant has previously been found guilty of any offense to the laws related to controlled substances of this state, or of the United States, or any state, territory, or district, the offense is a class A misdemeanor.
Currently, the law states that anyone found with up to 35 grams of marijuana may be charged with a class A misdemeanor. The new law states that if someone is found in possession of not more than 10 grams of marijuana they may be charged with a class D misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time. However, this only applies to those with no prior offenses related to controlled substances.
In the end, not much has changed in Missouri law regarding possession of marijuana. It is still a serious charge that can have serious effects on your future. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, you need a experienced criminal defense attorney like John Schleiffarth to help you. Do not wait until it is too late, get representation from a St. Louis drug defense attorney today.