Amendment 3 in Columbia

Missouri made history on November 8th when Amendment 3 was passed in the state. The amendment, which goes into effect December 8, 2022, allows adults over 21 to possess up to three ounces of recreational marijuana in Missouri. It is also meant to control the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana in the state. Under the new amendment, there will also be a system in place for licensing, regulating, and taxing the sale of recreational marijuana. Despite the passing of Amendment 3, criminal drug possession charges are still a reality in Columbia, Missouri, so it’s important to understand the full scope of the law and how you could be impacted. To learn more about Amendment 3 in Columbia, reach out to a knowledgeable drug lawyer.

What is Amendment 3?

When Amendment 3 passed in Missouri, it changed the criminal laws surrounding marijuana possession. Adults over 21 can now possess up to three ounces of recreational marijuana without criminal penalty. It also allows for adults to grow up to six flowering plants, 6 nonflowering plants, and 6 clones in their home. The amendment also allows for a lottery system to be in place for those interested in obtaining commercial licenses to cultivate and sell marijuana.

Another aspect of Amendment 3 is that it provides for the expungement of criminal records for those who were convicted of possession of 3 pounds or less of marijuana in Columbia. The amendment allows individuals to petition the court to vacate the criminal conviction and remove it from the criminal record. This won’t apply, however, to those who have been convicted of selling to minors or driving while under the influence.

Drug Possession Charges in Missouri

Despite the passing of Amendment 3, criminal drug possession charges are still very much a reality in Missouri. The new law only applies to the criminalization of recreational possession of marijuana; any sale of marijuana or distribution outside of the regulated system remains criminalized. This means that if you were to be found with more than 3 ounces of recreational marijuana, you could still be charged with criminal possession and be subject to criminal penalties.  Additionally, any public use of marijuana, driving while under the influence of marijuana, or selling it to someone under the age of 21 is still illegal and can result in criminal penalties.

It is also important to note that Amendment 3 does not apply to other drugs in Columbia, such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine. If you are caught with any of these drugs in your possession, you could face criminal drug possession charges without regard to the new amendment. This is why it is important to understand the scope of Amendment 3 when it comes to drug possession charges.

Common Charges

Drug possession charges in Columbia do carry criminal penalties, including fines and jail time. Depending on the specific charge, criminal drug possession can be considered a felony or a misdemeanor offense. For example, possession of any controlled substance (excluding marijuana) is considered a Class D felony in Missouri.

The penalties associated with drug possession vary, depending on the type of drug, the amount in possession, and criminal history. Generally speaking, the standard drug possession penalties in Missouri are as follows: a Class D misdemeanor typically results in a fine of up to $500, a Class A misdemeanor results in a fine of up to $2,000, and/or up to 1 year in jail, while a Class D felony may result in up to 7 years imprisonment.

Contact Our Columbia Attorneys to Learn More About Amendment 3

Having a criminal drug possession charge on your record can have long-lasting effects, such as difficulty in obtaining employment, government benefits, and housing. In some cases, it can preclude you from certain types of employment or professional licensing as well. That is why it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible if you are facing criminal drug possession charges.

Our criminal defense lawyers are experienced in all aspects of criminal drug possession law, including how Amendment 3 in Columbia applies to drug possession charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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