Marijuana Laws in Missouri
On January 1, 2017, Missouri changed its marijuana
laws with Senate Bill 491. The new law eliminates jail time for first-time offenders caught with no more than 10 grams of marijuana. Prior to the new law, possession of 35 grams of less of marijuana was considered a Class A Misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines. The law also eliminates the prior and persistent drug offender law, which allowed judges on a third felony drug-related conviction to sentence an offender to life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole.
The first offense of possession of marijuana will be considered a Class D Misdemeanor and carry a fine of $500, but you will not face any jail time.
A second offense of possession of marijuana with no more than 10 grams of marijuana is a Class A Misdemeanor with a possible jail sentence of up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,000.
Possession of marijuana with 10-35 grams is now classified as a Class A Misdemeanor with up to 1 years in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The law does not affect possession of marijuana of 35 grams or more. If caught with 35 grams or more of marijuana, you’ll be facing a Class D Felony charge punishable with up to 7 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Well you have the marijuana, but how are you going to smoke it? The new law also makes some changes to the drug paraphernalia crimes. If caught with drug paraphernalia, and it’s your first offense, you will only receive a $500 fine. This is still considered a Class D Misdemeanor but there is no jail time associated with first-time offenders.
Your second offense of possession of drug paraphernalia will be bumped upped to a Class A Misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
While this may lower the first-time offender charges, it is still extremely easily to obtain a felony drug charge in the State of Missouri. For instance, if you share a joint with a friend, it's possible to be charged with distribution of drugs. Additionally, just because the new marijuana laws for first-time offenders do not carry a jail sentence, you can still be arrested for the possession.
If you have been charged or arrested with possession of marijuana in the State of Missouri, contact Howard Law at (314) 325-9868, to help protect your rights and fight to keep your record clean.
About The Author
Evan M. Howard is the managing attorney for Howard Law, a St. Louis business law and criminal defense law firm based in Clayton, Missouri. Focused on giving honest, quick and effective representation to all its clients. With a background in business and experience dealing with tough criminal prosecution cases, Evan M. Howard and Howard Law is ready to help guide you through your legal matter.