A voter-approved constitutional amendment (Amendment 3) permitting adults to possess cannabis for personal use took effect today.
“December 8th is a historic date for Missourians,” said Dan Viets, co-author of Amendment 3, Missouri NORML Coordinator, and Chair of the Amendment 3 Advisory Board. “Most of the 20,000 annual marijuana arrests in our state will end on that date. Instead, adults will be able to legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and soon will also have the option to grow up to 18 plants or purchase cannabis products tested for purity and potency from licensed retailers.”
State officials will now also begin reviewing the records of those with cannabis convictions. All misdemeanor cannabis-related convictions must be expunged within six months and all eligible felonies must be cleared within 12 months. Expungements will be automatic for convictions involving three pounds or less of cannabis.
Missouri adopted one of the nation’s first anti-cannabis laws in 1889.
“This important legal reform is the result of more than 50 years of work by activists affiliated with NORML,” Viets said. Missouri NORML members were active in drafting the initiative, gathering signatures to place it on the ballot, and campaigning to pass it.
“I first attended a NORML national conference in August of 1972,” he added. “I, and many others, have remained active advocates for the repeal of the prohibition of responsible adult marijuana use ever since. Article XIV is the culmination of decades of citizen activism.”