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Mayor Jones signs bill repealing city marijuana laws

In the past 3 years, nearly 600 people were arrested in the City of St. Louis for marijuana-related charges. Of those individuals, nearly 500 were Black.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones on Monday signed a bill repealing city ordinances that make it illegal to possess small amounts of marijuana.

This comes as Amendment 2 was passed by Missouri voters in 2018 to legalize medical marijuana use, which received the support of 82 percent from St. Louisans.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in addition to repealing city ordinances, the bill bars police from enforcing state and federal laws against the possession of small amounts or of marijuana paraphernalia, with certain exceptions. The smell or presence of marijuana can no longer be the only probable cause for search and arrest.

“We are seeing a major shift in the way our country sees not just marijuana, but how it connects to public safety, incarceration, and economic opportunity in our communities,” Mayor Jones said. “This law will help reduce racial disparities in our policing, make our city safer, and make St. Louis more competitive in hiring for city positions. ”

Jones has said the bill removes an unjust and discriminatory policy. She said nearly 600 people have been arrested in St. Louis on marijuana charges in the past three years, and nearly 500 of them were Black.

MORE: What's in the marijuana legalization petition in Missouri?

The signing took place at City Hall. St. Louis Board of Aldermen sponsors Ald. Brandon Bosley (3), Ald. Annie Rice, (8), Ald. Bill Stephens (12), Ald. Jesse Todd (18), and Ald. Bret Narayan (24) were all in attendance. 

"It’s rare that we see so many people from so many different backgrounds unite around a single cause, which is exactly what we have done here,” said Alderman Narayan.

RELATED: St. Louis County Council votes to decriminalize recreational marijuana possession

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