The Missouri legislature is currently considering two important cannabis law reform measures, both introduced by Representative Rory Ellinger. The first, HB 512, is modeled on a Columbia ordinance passed by voters there in 2004. It would eliminate the possibility of arrest or jail for marijuana and paraphernalia possession. It would also limit the fines for those offenses to $250 and, in most cases, keep the charge from appearing on the defendant’s public record through use of a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).
The second bill introduced by Representative Ellinger. HB 511, would expand the use of expungement. This bill would allow for the expungement of all misdemeanor offenses, including marijuana and paraphernalia cases, in both state and municipal courts, with the exception of violent or sex-related charges. Expungement would be available after five years with no additional similar convictions.
Please email your state legislators and urge them to support these bills!