CITY OF COLUMBIA, Marijuana Ordinances

Sec. 16-253. – Possession of thirty-five grams or less of marijuana, or five grams or less of hashish.

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess thirty-five (35) grams or less of marijuana or cannibis in any species or form thereof, including but not limited to cannibis sativa L., or five (5) grams or less of hashish. Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(Ord. No. 10637, § 1(7.1141), 7-1-85)

Editor’s note— Section 1 of Ord. No. 10637, adopted July 1, 1985, amended the 1964 Code by the addition of § 7.1141, which has been included herein at the discretion of the editor as § 16-253.

 

Sec. 16-255. – Possession of drug paraphernalia.

(a)    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess drug paraphernalia. Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(b)    For purposes of this section, “drug paraphernalia” means any object which has been used for or is intended for use in inhaling, injecting, ingesting or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance as defined by the statutes of the State of Missouri. In determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, a court should consider, in addition to other logically relevant factors, the proximity of the object to a controlled substance and the existence of any residue of a controlled substance found on or in the object.

(Ord. No. 14658, § 1, 10-2-95)

Sec. 16-255.1. – Medical marijuana.

(a)    The purpose of this section is to ensure that patients, for whom marijuana has been recommended by a physician, suffer no punishment or penalty for obtaining, possessing, and/or using medicinal marijuana and/or paraphernalia used to consume medicinal marijuana.

(b)    Seriously ill adults who obtain and use marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia for medicinal purposes pursuant to the recommendation of a physician shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, punishment or sanction. Physicians who recommend marijuana for their patients shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, punishment or sanction. If an adult obtains a physician’s recommendation for marijuana use after an arrest, such charges shall be dismissed. If this provision is held invalid, then a maximum fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) may be imposed. There shall be a strong presumption that the appropriate disposition is to defer prosecution or to suspend imposition of sentence. All such matters shall only be referred to the municipal prosecuting attorney, and no other prosecuting attorney, and the municipal prosecuting attorney shall not refer the matter to any other prosecutor, agency, or office, unless the adult is also charged with a felony offense arising from the same set of facts and circumstances. The term “seriously ill adults” shall include patients who suffer from side-effects of the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS or symptoms of multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine headaches, chronic severe pain, or any other serious condition for which marijuana provides relief and for which a duly-licensed physician has recommended such use.

(c)    The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section is declared invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions of the section which can be given effect without the invalid provision.

(d)    Any city ordinance or regulation that is inconsistent with this section shall be null and void.

(Ord. No. 18187, § 1, 8-2-04)

Editor’s note— Ord. No. 18187, passed by city council on Aug. 2, 2004, called for election; said ordinance was passed by the voters on Nov. 2, 2004.

Sec. 16-255.2. – Policies for enforcing marijuana offenses.

(a)    The purpose of this section is to ensure that adults as defined by state criminal statutes, other than those excluded herein, are not arrested and suffer only a fine and/or community service or counseling and no other punishment or penalty, for the possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia. This section shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes.

(b)    When any law enforcement officer suspects any adult as defined by state criminal statutes, other than those excluded herein, of possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and/or possession of marijuana paraphernalia, that person shall not be required to post bond, suffer arrest, be taken into custody for any purpose nor detained for any reason other than the issuance of a summons, suffer incarceration, suffer loss of driver’s license, or any other punishment or penalty other than the issuance of a summons and, if found guilty, a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). There shall be a strong presumption that the proper disposition of any such case is to suspend the imposition of sentence and/or require community service work and/or drug counseling and education. All such matters shall only be referred to the municipal prosecuting attorney, and no other prosecuting attorney, and the municipal prosecuting attorney shall not refer the matter to any other prosecutor, agency, or office, unless provisions of subsection (c) are applicable.

(c)    Subsection (b) shall not apply to persons:

(1)    Who have been found guilty of a felony within the preceding ten (10) years; or

(2)    Who have been found guilty in a state court of a Class A misdemeanor, other than misdemeanor marijuana possession or misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia, within the preceding five (5) years; or

(3)    Who have been found guilty in a state or municipal court of misdemeanor marijuana possession on two or more prior occasions within the preceding five (5) years; or

(4)    Who are arrested on suspicion of any felony or misdemeanor offense chargeable only under state law, arising from the same set of facts and circumstances as the alleged marijuana offense.

(d)    The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section is declared invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions of the section which can be given effect without the invalid provision.

(e)    Any city ordinance or regulation that is inconsistent with this section shall be null and void and is hereby repealed effective immediately.

(f)    The message of this section is that people should not use marijuana, but should also not lose opportunities for education and employment because of such use. The limited resources of law enforcement should be directed primarily toward crimes of violence or property loss. The enforcement of laws against marijuana shall be among the lower priorities of law enforcement.

(Ord. No. 18188, § 1, 8-2-04; Ord. No. 18916, § 1, 2-20-06)

Editor’s note— Ord. No. 18188, passed by city council on Aug. 2, 2004, called for election; said ordinance was passed by the voters on Nov. 2, 2004.