Marijuana Laws in Missouri:
In 2014, the state of Missouri approved legislation to rewrite its criminal code, decriminalizing cannabis to a certain degree. For first-time offenders with small amounts of marijuana for personal use, this means no prison time and the opportunity to keep a clean criminal record. Now, the state treats these offenders more like traffic violators.
Missouri has also passed a medical CBD law. This allows people suffering from epileptic issues that are severe and debilitating to use cannabis extracts to treat their conditions. These extracts must contain high CBD levels, with low levels of THC.
Possessing Marijuana in Missouri
Because of Missouri’s choice to slightly decriminalize marijuana, first-time offenders are treated with leniency. However, there are some penalties for each violation related to cannabis. Here are the penalties for possessing marijuana in the state of Missouri:
• First-time offenders with less than 10 grams = Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine, no time in jail
• Second-time offenders with up to 10 grams = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail
• Any person with 10 grams to 35 grams = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 fine and up to 1 year jail time
• Anyone possessing 35 grams to 30 kilograms = Felony: Up to $10,000 fine and up to 7 years in prison
• Anyone under the age of 21 possessing marijuana = Driver’s license suspension
In some cases, persons found guilty of possessing between 35 grams and 30 kilograms of cannabis in Missouri are charged with intent to distribute. The penalties for these convictions are much stiffer than simple possession charges.
Selling Marijuana in Missouri
Even after the change in legislation related to cannabis possession, it is still illegal to sell, manufacture or distribute marijuana in the state of Missouri. The penalties for such offenses are much harsher than those related to possession. Those penalties are as follows:
• Manufacture or sell less than 35 grams = Felony: $10,000 fine and up to years in prison
• Distribute less than 35 grams = Felony: $10,000 fine and 3-10 years’ incarceration
• Manufacture or sell 35 grams to 30 kilograms = Felony: $10,000 fine and 3-10 years in prison
• Distribute 35 grams to 30 kilograms = Felony: Fine equal to double the profit made and 5-15 years’ incarceration
• Distribute near public housing, school or recreational park = Felony: Fine equal to two times the profit and prison time of 10-30 years, or possibly, life in prison
In the state of Missouri, drug trafficking comes with fines and stiff jail time, this includes trafficking marijuana. Cannabis trafficking is the act of manufacturing, cultivation, selling and/or distributing pot. These are the penalties for such crimes in Missouri:
• Traffic into state or possess 30-100 kilograms = Felony: $10,000 fine and 3-10 years in prison
• Traffic into state or possess more than 500 plants or 100 kilograms = Felony: Fine equal to twice the profit amount and 5-15 years of incarceration
• Manufacture and/or distribute 30-100 kilograms = Felony: Fine equal to two times the profit and 5-15 years’ imprisonment
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Missouri
It is illegal to manufacture or cultivate cannabis in the state of Missouri. These crimes with both fines and jail time as follows:
• Less than 35 grams = Felony: $10,000 fine and up to a 4-year prison term
• More than 35 grams = Felony: $10,000 fine and 3-10 years’ incarceration
Using Marijuana in Missouri
Missouri has authorized the use of hemp in various research studies. Also known as industrial hemp, it’s a variety of the sativa marijuana plant species. It’s specifically grown for the purpose of deriving industrial products. Because it contains no more than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there are very little to no psychoactive effects.
Various parts of the industrial hemp plant are used to create various industrial products, such as:
• Animal feed
• Many other products
In 2014, two House bills were passed that directly related to industrial hemp and the Missouri Hemp Law:
1. House Bill 2238 – Gives the Department of Agriculture the right to grow industrial hemp to conduct research. It allows people with epilepsy to be treated using hemp extract after getting a neurologist’s recommendation
2. House Bill 2054 – Declares that industrial hemp is not a controlled substance. Anyone who has never been convicted of an offense related to drugs may legally cultivate hemp.
Missouri considers cannabis concentrates and hash to be the same as the actual marijuana plant. These forms of cannabis are included in the state’s statutory definition of marijuana. Therefore, in Missouri, the penalties for both hashish and concentrates are identical to those for cannabis.
Possessing drug paraphernalia in this state is a misdemeanor. Those found with cannabis paraphernalia as first-time offenders are subject to a $500 fine, with no jail time. For second time offenders, the fine goes up to $2,000, with a jail sentence of up to 1 year.
Manufacturing paraphernalia unlawfully is a misdemeanor crime. It carries a fine up to $2,000 and up to 1 year in jail. Commercially manufacturing paraphernalia in Missouri is a felony crime. The fine is up to $10,000, while offenders face up to 4 years in prison.
Missouri’s medical CBD law does allow for certain people to use cannabis extracts. These individuals are given referrals because of incapacitating, severe epileptic conditions. In such cases, the marijuana extracts must be low in THC and high in CBD (Cannabidiol).
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Missouri
The per se drugged driving laws in Missouri is strictly enforced. They forbid anyone from operating a motor vehicle while under a detectable level of any drug metabolite or illicit drug. There’s a state-mandated threshold which dictates the detectable amount allowed within a person’s bodily fluids.
In Missouri, mandatory minimum sentencing laws affect those convicted of crimes related to cannabis. Judges are powerless when it comes to sentencing defendants convicted of these crimes. They are required to sentence these convicts to no less than the minimum mandated amounts, including fines and prison terms.
Those serving mandatory minimum sentences, either on the state level or federal level, are not eligible for parole. If a prisoner is given a minimum mandatory sentence of life in prison for a marijuana charge, that sentence must be served out, with no chance of parole.