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Mayor signs bill repealing St. Louis ban on possessing small amounts of marijuana

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ST. LOUIS  — Mayor Tishaura O. Jones on Monday signed a recently passed bill that repeals city ordinances making it illegal to possess 35 grams or less of marijuana.

“Enforcing stringent marijuana laws diverts our police resources from addressing the most violent crime,” Jones said at a news conference in the City Hall rotunda before signing the bill.

She also said the repeal will reduce racial disparities in policing, noting that 82% of people arrested in the city on marijuana-related charges in the past three years were Black.

The measure also states that the smell or presence of marijuana no longer can be sole probable cause for search and arrest. The bill also prohibits police from enforcing state and federal laws against possession of small amounts with certain exceptions.

The bill’s sponsor, Alderman Bret Narayan, 24th Ward, said he and other supporters decided against including a provision to expunge past convictions after checking with city attorneys.

“After lengthy discussions with our legal department, we felt that this bill was as far as we could push at the local level,” he said.

Mayor Tishaura O. Jones on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, signed a bill that repeals St. Louis city ordinances making it illegal to possess 35 grams or less of marijuana.

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