New Law Reduces Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Missouri
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First-time possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana will be reduced from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D misdemeanor in Missouri as of January 1, 2017.
This means the maximum penalty for first-time possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana will be reduced to a fine of $500 and no jail time.
No Change in Punishment for Marijuana Possession if You Have Prior Convictions
If you have a prior drug-related conviction on your criminal record, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana will still be considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Possession of 11 to 35 Grams of Marijuana Will Still be Considered a Class A Misdemeanor
Currently, possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri. Under the new law, possession of 11 to 35 grams of marijuana will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, with a potential penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Drug Paraphernalia Possession Penalties Will be Reduced
The new law will reduce first-time possession of drug paraphernalia to a Class D misdemeanor. If you have any prior drug-related convictions on your criminal record, an offense of drug paraphernalia possession will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. (Currently, drug paraphernalia possession is a Class D felony if you have prior convictions.)
To read more about the new Missouri laws taking effect on January 1, 2017, you can look up the unofficial text of Senate Bill 491 online. The section relating to possession of a controlled substance is §579.015.
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