Springfield City Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative, May Be Amended

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director August 28, 2012

    Last night, the City Council of Springfield, MO voted 6-3 in favor of an initiative that would lower city penalties for possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis to a maximum $150 fine. This measure came about as part of a petitioning process by the group Show-Me Cannabis Regulation. After the group collected enough signatures from Springfield voters, the council had the option of either passing the legislation or putting it before voters in the November election.

    This measure is similar to an ordinance passed in Columbia, MO in 2004, that received 61% of the vote. This initiative differs in that it adds automatic expungement of convictions for possession
    of up to 1 and 1/4 ounces of cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia two years after a plea of guilty
    or conviction. It also requires the council to appoint a “Citizens Committee” to review and monitor the implementation of the ordinance.

    The city council has the opportunity to amend its language and several members have signaled a desire to do so. If they are to amend the language they only have 30 days in which to do so. To what extent the measure will be changed before it is implemented remains unclear. Councilman Tommy Bieker stated that, “I will be voting in support with the intent of turning around and working out the amendment.”

    His colleague, Councilman Jeff Seifried told press he supported passing the amendment “then gutting, the entire ordinance.”

    NORML will keep you updated as this situation progresses. You can read more about initiatives that did advance to this fall’s ballot by visiting NORML’s 2012 Election Guide, Smoke the Vote.

    12 responses to “Springfield City Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative, May Be Amended”

    1. janet burns says:

      I so so wish this would happen in Tn. Does anyone know if anything for new laws is going on in Tn.

    2. Sharp says:

      Why is a politician like Jeff Seifried allowed to breathe?

    3. Java says:

      What are the laws looking like for MN, and IA? we’re due for a new revolution in this country, and people need to see how this will affect the u.s. in a POSITIVE way!

    4. It is starting to spread to states all over the country lets hope people everywhere are putting forth the effort we see here! I think its awesome that people will potentially have an oz and a 1/2 without getting busted!

    5. Smarty says:

      What will the new laws be if this stays unchanged?

      [Paul Armentano responds: As written, the measure amends local penalties for the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis by adults to primarily a fine-only offense. It also allows for violators to have their arrest record expunged after two years, and requires City Council to create a citizens oversight committee to monitor the ordinance’s implementation and enforcement.]

    6. Paul Pot says:

      ‘WOO HOO’!


    7. Maryjanesuncle says:

      Home town…Please help if you can. Its tough here in middle America, change is slow. The council is already talking about gutting it. Please be out spoken…Thanks for listening.

    8. Raven Kasprzak says:

      they are arresting everyone in sight here in MO, Texas county and Phelps county, it is so bad, I can’t believe that them undercover shits can sleep nights for what they do to good people that just want to smoke cannabis or grow it or sale it to adults…this is so bad.

    9. Anonymous says:

      What I think is they should tax all of us out here for the right to a ten by ten plot. And kick the Mexican cartels right I’m the groin.

    10. Kaye Johnson says:

      To Janet Burns – get involved with the TN NORML chapter and help us work to make a change.