ST. LOUIS — City aldermen are moving to repeal municipal ordinances that make it illegal to possess 35 grams or less of marijuana.
Legislation to do that was given preliminary approval Friday on a voice vote.
The measure follows up a bill passed in 2018 that reduced the maximum city fine for such a violation to $25 from a previous range of $100 to $500 enacted a few years earlier.
The sponsor, Alderman Bret Narayan, 24th Ward, said earlier decriminalization efforts were positive steps but that people who were pleading guilty were still subject to long-term negative ramifications.
He said they could be denied student loans and public housing after pleading guilty.
“It’s long past time that we updated these kind of relics of laws,” he said.
The legislation also would prohibit city resources from being spent to enforce other laws against possession of small amounts of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia.
The bill has the support of Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “The intention is to free up police resources so they don’t even have to worry about arresting someone for a victimless crime,” said mayoral spokesman Nick Dunne.