Missouri: Municipal Measure To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Offenses Qualifies For November Ballot

Springfield, MO: A citywide proposal that seeks to significantly reduce the penalties associated with the possession of marijuana will appear on the November electoral ballot.

The Springfield City Clerk’s office on Friday affirmed that proponents of the municipal measure – Show-Me Cannabis Regulation and Springfield NORML – had gathered the necessary number of signatures from registered voters to qualify the initiative for the 2012 municipal ballot.

The measure will first go before the City Council. If members of the Council elect not to enact the proposal, it will then go before voters in November.

If enacted, the measure will amend local penalties for the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia by adults to primarily a fine-only offense. Under state law, possession of 35 grams or less is defined as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The local measure is modeled after a similar municipal decriminalization ordinance that was previously approved by 61 percent of Columbia, MO voters in 2004.

Springfield is the third largest city in the state and is generally considered to be one of Missouri’s more conservative-leaning municipalities.

For more information, please visit: http://show-mecannabis.com/.