Minor marijuana possession offenses will no longer be criminally prosecuted in St. Louis County, according to a policy instituted last week by newly elected prosecutor Wesley Bell. Bell was sworn into office last Tuesday.
The policy change mirrors that of Jackson County (Kansas City) prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who announced in November that her office would no longer charge offenders for marijuana possession violations. In 2017, members of the Kansas City chapter of NORML successfully led a municipal initiative effort to decriminalize minor possession offenses.
Nearly 30 percent of Missourians reside in either Jackson County or St. Louis County.
Under state law, the possession of more than ten grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.