History made in Missouri with legalization of recreational marijuana

A photo of the inside of Organic Remedies, a newly opened marijuana dispensary in South County St. Louis, Missouri.

The 2022 Missouri general election was held on November 8th where multiple state amendments and officials were voted on. Arguably the most notable was the voting for Amendment 3 which regards the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state of Missouri. The results of the vote were 53.1% yes to 46.9% no. These results went into effect on December 8th, 2022. 

The new law has multiple sections covering everything from medicinal distribution all the way to “for fun” recreational use. So there is a lot to learn and understand about this new law which many people are excited about. 

In the first section of the law it is stated that permit state-licensed physicians and nurse practitioners can recommend marijuana for medical purposes. This section is intended to make only changes to Missouri law that are necessary to protect patients, their primary caregivers, and their physicians and nurse practitioners from criminal offenses. There are also means of tracking marijuana plants from seed to distribution to ensure that the product is pure, which is especially important when it comes to medicine. 

Many states such as California and Colorado have deemed marijuana legal for recreational use for years. For these states, the sales of medical and recreational marijuana make a lot of money for the state due to the taxes that are imposed on all of the products. With Missouri being the newest state to legalize this, there should be some kind of spike in the money that St. Louis has due to the 6% tax on all retail sales. Lots of people have argued this saying things like weed didn’t need to be legalized and that it was everywhere already. Now the people of Missouri have to pay a 6% tax that they didn’t pay when buying from a buddy. 

With a new drug being legalized, there is of course going to be a lot of legislation changes regarding that specific drug. First off, the same rules apply to marijuana as do to alcohol regarding operating a vehicle, those driving under the influence of marijuana will still be arrested and charged with DUI. However, a big change is that those who were incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana related offenses will have the charge taken off their record and removed from jail if it happened in the last five years. 

Despite the drug being legal, there comes a lot of specifics along with the new law. Smoking zones still apply to marijuana smokers, meaning no smoking is permitted unless you are in a designated smoking area. Charges such as negligence and recklessness also apply to marijuana just as they would alcohol.

This change going into effect on December 8th, 2022 is very big for the state of Missouri and the city of St. Louis in specific. Many of the marijuana users in Missouri already have someone they buy off of putting themselves and their supplier in awkward situations. It should be interesting to see how these situations play out over the next few months or years but the state is hopeful that this new law will bring in revenue and allow the state to make advancements.

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