St. Louis legalizes marijuana possession

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Monday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

St. Louis residents need no longer fear citation from the city for possessing two ounces of marijuana or less — or growing up to six cannabis plants.

That’s according to a bill signed Dec. 13 by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. Board Bill 132 repeals three previous ordinances, essentially legalizing small amounts of marijuana in the city. It also decrees that city employees who test positive for marijuana may use their state-issued medical marijuana cards to avoid “adverse employer actions.”

The state launched its medical marijuana program last year.

St. Louis won headlines in 2013 for “decriminalizing” marijuana, but as the Riverfront Times reported four years later, the police continued to give people citations for possession, including fines of up to $500. The vast majority were Black. Even so, a previous effort to fully legalize possession of up to two ounces at the Board of Aldermen stalled out.

Jones said that nearly 600 people were arrested in the city in the past three years for marijuana-related charges — nearly 500 of them Black. “Bringing city laws in line with the state constitution, along with preventing marijuana from being used as sole probable cause for search or arrest, will help reduce racial disparities and give officers the ability to better focus on violent crime,” she said in a prepared statement.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we’ll discuss Board Bill 132 with its sponsor, Alderman Bret Narayan.

Have a question or comment about Board Bill 132? Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to or share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group, and help inform our coverage.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Kayla Drake. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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