Missouri Marijuana Law Update
Marijuana-related laws are constantly changing in the United States and they vary, from state to state. This can make it confusing for people to know what is legal and what could lead to an arrest and criminal charges. The following are some updates on the state of marijuana laws in Missouri. Always remember that the laws in neighboring states are different, so you can never just assume that what is lawful or unlawful in Missouri will be the same just across the river in Illinois.
Medical Marijuana Laws
Last November, voters decided that Missouri should legalize marijuana use for medical purposes, and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) anticipates that dispensaries for medical cannabis may be open for business by January 2020. The specific rules and regulations for the state medical marijuana program should be available by the beginning of June 2019.
You can apply for a medical marijuana identification card if you have a physician’s certification that you have a qualifying condition. Such conditions include:
- Any terminal illness
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Chronic medical conditions that cause severe, persistent pain or muscle spasms, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), seizures, Parkinson’s disease, or Tourette’s syndrome
- Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic medical conditions that are normally treated with prescription medication that may cause physical or psychological dependence
- Any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition (including, but not limited to, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, Huntington’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia and wasting syndrome, under the discretion of a physician.
Reports indicate that DHSS will issue at least 338 licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. Until you can purchase cannabis at a licensed dispensary, it is still unlawful to possess marijuana in Missouri or bring it into Missouri, even if you have a qualifying condition.
Recreational Marijuana Laws
Recreational Marijuana remains illegal in the State of Missouri, though the state legislature is considering a bill that would decriminalize possession of marijuana for personal use. House Bill (HB) 1095 would reduce possession of fewer than 36 grams to a Class D misdemeanor from a felony charge. Possession of fewer than 10 grams would become an infraction with no possible jail time, down from a misdemeanor. While this bill is not yet law, it did pass committee unanimously and will proceed through the legislative process. We will keep you informed of any developments.
Call Bruntrager & Billings Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney
While recent and pending changes to Missouri marijuana laws are undoubtedly more permissive and in line with a larger national trend moving towards decriminalization, it’s important to remember that marijuana-related crimes can still result in serious legal penalties. In addition, any drug-related conviction can have significant collateral consequences, such as academic sanctions and difficulty finding employment. To ensure your marijuana case is brought to the most favorable resolution possible, you should contact Bruntrager & Billings as soon as you can. To schedule your free case evaluation with a criminal defense attorney in St. Louis, call our office today at 314-646-0066 or contact us online.