The old laws surrounding marijuana will soon be going up in smoke.
Beginning in December, Amendment 3 provides for the legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana by state-licensed dealers to citizens 21 years and older. (However, the first sales of legal recreational marijuana are not expected until February.) It also provides for the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain marijuana-related offenses.
Missouri residents will also be able to apply for registration cards to grow a limited amount of their own plants at home.
However, here come the “buts”:
But operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis will still be illegal, even though it’s still unclear how that could be proven scientifically. (There is no breathalyzer for THC, as there is for alcohol.) And people could still be fined for smoking in areas where it’s prohibited. Individual municipalities can also elect to bar recreational marijuana dispensaries from operating by a public vote.
And it won’t expunge offenses for DUIs or selling to a minor. Those currently serving time for marijuana offenses that qualify for expungement would not be automatically released but would be able to petition for release, which would have to be adjudicated within a timeline set by the amendment.
So stay tuned for “high” drama surrounding this new found freedom for Missourians!