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Missouri Marijuana Laws: Then, Now, and Looking Forward

by in Medical Cannabis News April 26, 2022

Missouri marijuana laws have come quite a long way in the last few years, but what does that mean for Missouri residents who are interested in using cannabis to treat their medical conditions? If you need help understanding how the state’s weed laws affect you, this guide will get you up to speed. From past marijuana law offenses to how medical cannabis can help patients suffering from pain and illnesses, here’s what you need to know about the current situation in Missouri—and where the state’s weed laws may be headed in the future.

Pre-2014: Early Laws

In the early 1900s, many states began banning marijuana in all forms and legislators began setting regulations if people were found to be in possession of the drug. The punishments included fines up to $1,000 (more than $20,000 today), a prison sentence of up to 10 years, or both—and there were no exceptions for medicinal use. There were also additional penalties for growing or possessing marijuana with an intent to sell it. By 1933, 29 states had criminalized marijuana.

2014: Marijuana is Decriminalized

When Missouri passed a medical marijuana law in 2014, it was seen as one of the more conservative states to make cannabis accessible for patients. That law, however, was quite limited with only nine diseases eligible for treatment with a cannabis product. Additionally, there are no dispensaries or growing facilities in Missouri — making it hard to access cannabis. Although possession of small amounts for personal use was decriminalized, marijuana was still illegal in every form except CBD oil. However, even CBD required a valid prescription from your doctor or healthcare provider. While the bill was passed in 2014, it didn’t actually take effect until 2017.

2018: Missouri Weed Law Changes

Recently, it’s been a whirlwind of changes in Missouri marijuana laws. First, in November 2018 voters passed Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana throughout the state. Patients with a terminal illness could now access medical marijuana if their doctors recommended it as a treatment option. Then, just four months later on November 6th, Missouri voted on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana as well. This ballot vote was not approved by voters at the time, but now that more than half of all states have access to legal weed there is hope that one day Missouri will follow suit. Even though voters struck down legalization last year, state lawmakers are still debating how they want to create legislation around recreational use moving forward. This could provide some insights into the future of cannabis in Missouri.

Missouri Marijuana Laws Today

Different forms of marijuana such as oil and pills sitting on a black surface

Although there has been much progress in the last few years with the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) still defines cannabis as a Schedule I substance. This means that it’s seen as a drug with a high potential for being abused and is not approved as a medical treatment by the FDA.

Currently, in Missouri, any recreational marijuana-related activity still remains illegal. Under these laws, possession of fewer than 35 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Those possessing more than 35 grams are also subject to these penalties, but they may face prison time of up to 7 years instead. It’s important to remember that just because medical marijuana has been legalized across Missouri (and around 30 other states), doesn’t mean that using it recreationally is legal. Additionally, a medical card will not protect you from prosecution for possessing or selling recreational marijuana under state or federal law. Patients must continue to remain cautious when using marijuana for medical reasons and be sure they are following the guidelines.

How Missouri Weed Laws Affect Medical Marijuana Card Users

According to Missouri laws, cardholders are eligible for a six-month supply of cannabis oil containing 35% THC. However, they’re also not allowed to grow their own marijuana and have limited access to dispensaries (which can sometimes create a strain on supplies). If you’re concerned about legal issues surrounding medical marijuana use in Missouri or would like some help figuring out how Missouri weed laws might affect you or your loved one, be sure to speak with a trusted doctor. They’ll be able to help you make sense of everything and figure out the best path forward. 

Preparing for the Future – What Does It Mean?

If marijuana becomes legalized for recreational use in Missouri, what does that mean for Missouri’s economy? What does it mean for drug treatment facilities? For law enforcement? For employers? From public safety to tax revenue projections to tourism, there are many factors at play. To truly understand how legalizing weed would impact the state, it’s important to look at how things played out in other states where weed is legal. And while recreational marijuana has not been legalized yet in Missouri, legislators have introduced a number of bills related to legalization over recent years as well as held a series of stakeholder meetings. These efforts have provided some insight into what we might expect in the future as well as which questions still need to be answered.

See If You Qualify

It can be hard to keep up with all the changes to Missouri marijuana laws in the past couple of years. At Ozark MMJ Cards, we are always happy to help with any questions you may have or to see if you qualify for a medical marijuana card. Contact us today to talk to an expert and get relief for a number of conditions so you can live life to the fullest.

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