Marijuana decriminalization measure passes St. Louis Board of Aldermen

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – In a unanimous vote, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Tuesday voted to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, who supported the measure, said she will sign the bill as soon as it reaches her desk.

The bill—BB 132—will repeal city ordinances that made it illegal to have 35 grams or less of marijuana and eliminate suspicion of marijuana use/possession as means for police searches.

Alderman Bret Narayan sponsored the bill; 11 of Narayan’s colleagues co-sponsored the bill.

Mayor Jones released a statement afterward, saying in part:

“Let me be clear: Incarcerating people for marijuana-related, low-level offenses does not make our neighborhoods safer. Needless contact with the prison system harms families and communities across our city. In the past 3 years, 591 people were arrested for marijuana-related charges – of those individuals, 488 were Black. Board Bill 132 brings our laws in line with the state constitution while repealing unjust and discriminatory policies.”

Tishaura Jones, St. Louis mayor

During Tuesday’s session, aldermen also voted to extend the city’s mask mandate for another 30 days and approved an oversight bill that would set up a panel to investigate jail complaints.

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