Legislation that would bar, in most instances, St. Louis from expending resources to enforce marijuana laws attracted mostly positive comments from city residents at an aldermanic committee hearing Tuesday night.
But Alderwoman Megan Green’s legislation received a less favorable reception from some of her colleagues, including the chairman of the committee hearing the bill.
Green’s legislation would prohibit the city from using any resources to “enforce laws that permit the civil or criminal punishment for the use or possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia against any individual or entity.” There are some exceptions, including for people under the age of 21 who are caught with marijuana.
“I think it’s necessary because it’s important that St. Louis is a leader on this issue,” said Green, D-15th Ward. “We heard from a number of folks tonight who would benefit from using marijuana for medicinal purposes. We’ve heard from people who work with people who are addicted to opiods and to heroin. And we know that legalization decreases that.”
Green added she’s making some changes to her bill, including reducing the amount of flowering marijuana plants that someone can have. She also said the revised version of the bill takes out language that could punish police officers for running afoul of parts of the ordinance.
St. Louis City Counselor Julian Bush said he had a number of concerns about the legislation, including the possibility that police could face legal action for not executing warrants. Green said she plans to talk with Bush soon to make sure he has “the most up to date information” about her bill.
The Board of Aldermen approved legislation earlier this year that caps the fines for possessing 35 grams or less of marijuana to $25. It also states that the “proper disposition of any such case is to