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Recreational marijuana laws explained during municipal meeting

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 7:49 pm

By Woodrow Polston

The bi-monthly Audrain County municipalities meeting was held in Martinsburg last week. Members of local municipalities were present to hear an update on laws and regulations relating to the recreational use of marijuana. Audrain County Associate Commissioner Leslie Meyer said that after Amendment 3 passed last November, she has received a lot of questions about the new law.
“I was asked if we could go over Amendment 3 at this meeting, to answer a lot of the questions surrounding it,” said Meyer. “I would like to point out that not all of Missouri supported this amendment. It was the heavily populated sections of the state that voted for it, including St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield. It was not supported well in the more rural areas of the state. The information provided tonight has been compiled since November. First of all, no one under 21 years of age is permitted to use marijuana products. Any dispensary, shop, or cultivating facility processing or selling recreational marijuana will be regulated by the Department of Health and Senior Services. It is not legal for anyone to just start growing marijuana without the necessary license being obtained, and the regulations being followed. Those who become licensed will not be allowed to grow marijuana outdoors. They will not be allowed to establish a shop, dispensary or cultivating facility any closer than 1,000 feet from a school, day-care facility or a church,” she added.
According to Amendment 3, it requires DHSS to issue licenses to all eight of the congressional districts throughout the state of Missouri. Meyer said that DHSS is allowed to determine how much marijuana can be purchased in a single transaction.
“The amount cannot exceed three ounces. The law only allows up to three ounces to be in a person’s possession. There are different weighing methods for gummies and other marijuana products that we are not yet familiar with. Dispensaries and shops will be allowed to advertise their products. They will have to follow the same regulations as those who advertise alcohol products,” said Meyer.
Not only are there necessary laws pertaining to the manufacture and sale of marijuana, but also laws that pertain to public safety and workplace guidelines.
“No person shall be allowed to use marijuana who is employed by an entity that accepts federal grant money. This would include county and city government workers who operate in drug-free workplaces. This would also include any employee is in a position where the use of marijuana affects, in any manner, their ability to perform their job functions, such as operating heavy equipment, or working as a surgeon. Concerning disciplinary action for employers, there is no way to accurately determine whether or not an employee is using marijuana while working a shift, unless caught in the act. To our knowledge, there is nothing similar to a breathalyzer test that exists for detecting marijuana. Simply using a standard drug test would not be conclusive, as marijuana stays in the system for a long time,” said Meyer.
The United States Government stated that individuals who use marijuana cannot own or possess a firearm, or hold a CDL license. This would include millions of American truck drivers and sportsmen who own any type of gun. Meyer said that cities may take action on a local level to suit the needs of their communities.
“Individual cities may pass ordinances determining where marijuana may be used in public spaces. There is also the possibility of banning the sale of marijuana within your city limits. You must obtain at least 60% of the voting population’s approval, and it must be done on a presidential election year. Concerning the expunging of marijuana charges, the circuit clerk’s offices are backed up as they are going through the records of those who are eligible. Any associated charges such as DWI, resisting arrest etc. will remain on the individuals record.”