ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — As a proposal for an additional sales tax on marijuana heads to St. Louis County voters, more changes in marijuana usage could be coming to the county, including where you can and cannot smoke it.
During a Wednesday morning news conference, County Executive Sam Page announced the St. Louis County Council is working to update its clean air code to address marijuana smoke. The code currently regulates where people can smoke tobacco.
The restrictions on marijuana smoke are aimed at limiting secondhand exposure for those that aren't consenting adults.
"Marijuana smoke contains a lot of the same cancer-causing agents that are present in tobacco, and in some cases, there's even higher amounts in marijuana smoke ..." Page said, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This is especially concerning to children and those who are pregnant."
Among the biggest changes proposed is banning tobacco and marijuana smoking in county-run parks, Page said, including at the parks' shelters, playgrounds, trails and ball fields. The new restrictions would only apply to marijuana smoke, not edibles.
The St. Louis County Council is still weeks away from finalizing legislation limiting marijuana use in public, and Page said the council is expected to hold a special meeting to discuss the changes.
Page also addressed Prop M on the April 4 general election ballot. Voters will decide whether or not to adopt a 3% sales tax on adult-use marijuana in unincorporated St. Louis County, which would generate more than $3 million a year for county parks, police and roads. This is on top of the 6% state sales tax Missouri voters approved when recreational pot was legalized in November.
When asked if he thought an increased cost for marijuana would push customers outside county lines for pot purchases, Page said: "Like sales taxes that vary from municipality to municipality ... It doesn't seem to impact shopping patterns that much in St. Louis County. People generally tend to shop where they want to shop, where it's convenient for them."
St. Louis County is among 100 other counties or municipalities, including St. Charles County, Kansas City and St. Louis City, with a marijuana tax question on the April ballot.
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