Louis Mayor Techora O’Jones signed the cannabis decriminalization law this week, saying the measure would help address racial disparities in the city’s enforcement of cannabis ban laws. Jones approved the measure, which was approved by Alderman Council last month, at a signing ceremony at City Hall on Monday.
new law, Board of Directors 132, repeals city laws relating to possession of small amounts of cannabis and drug paraphernalia within the city of St. Louis. The mayor’s office indicated in a statement that the measure complies with Amendment 2, the 2018 ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana in Missouri With the approval of 82 percent of St. Louis voters and more than 65 percent of the statewide vote.
Jones noted that the ordinance is the latest step in her “mission to return the public to public safety,” noting that over the past three years, nearly 600 have been arrested in St. Louis on marijuana-related charges. Among them, there were nearly 500 blacks.
Jones Tell reporters. “This law will help reduce racial disparities in our police work, make our city safer, and make St. Louis more competitive in hiring for city positions.”
Monday’s signing ceremony was attended by aldermen representing communities from across St. Louis. Alderman, Brett Narayan, the bill’s sponsor, thanked the mayor and his colleagues, noting that the measure would also have other benefits for the city.
“It’s rare that we see so many people from different backgrounds uniting around one issue, and that’s exactly what we’ve done here,” Narayan said. This law represents the manifest will of the people of St. Louis. It will allow our law enforcement officials to use their resources on the most pressing issues in our area, aid labor shortages in our city departments, and help prevent injured first responders from falling into the pitfalls of opioid addiction. “
Cannabis decriminalization measure gaining wide support
This measure was passed by the municipal council on November 23. Narayan He said At the time, the bill received broad support from city leaders.
“I had the endorsement of the Director of Public Safety,” Narayan said. “She has approval from the Personnel Manager. We have spoken to every stakeholder along the way.”
Cannabis decriminalization action in St. Louis has support from Missouri activists and representatives The medical cannabis industry is growing. “Policy reform is vital, and we recognize that states and local jurisdictions are struggling to address current issues of social, economic and racial inequality associated with cannabis,” said Tom Mozy, CEO of SWADE Cannabis, which operates five dispensaries within city limits.
“As a leader in the industry, we believe it is our responsibility to help inform the narrative and provide guidance to all parties involved,” Muzzey continued. “Together, with our partners, we are committed to fighting for the changes needed to create a more just and equitable industry.”
Although the bill changes the city’s cannabis enforcement policy, Dan Fitts, executive director of the Missouri chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), noted that the new law does not provide full protection from prosecution.
“If we just rescind local ordinances, the police would still have the option to pursue charges under state law,” Fitts said.
Fitts said the focus on cannabis reform should continue statewide, noting that “19 states have already legalized adult marijuana use.” Legalization advocates are currently collecting the 170,000 signatures needed to put the recreational cannabis initiative on Missouri’s ballot for the 2022 election.
“It’s not a radical proposition at all,” Fitts said. “It is one that will lead to greater control over marijuana regulation. Taxes and legalization are better for everyone.”