Marijuana smokers in the city may soon get a break.
Anyone caught with small amounts of marijuana could end up with a charge as insignificant as a traffic ticket. The Board of Aldermen voted 22-3 on Monday to reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug.
The bill, which was championed by Alderman Shane Cohn, gives police officers the option to redistribute some marijuana cases to the municipal court system, essentially making a criminal infraction a municipal offense. Violators would typically be given a summons to appear in municipal court instead of handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. Police currently charge marijuana offenders under more harsh state laws because no local law is on the books.
“I think this is a good step for the city of St. Louis,” Cohn said. “It doesn’t legalize marijuana, but it gives fairness.”