Laws regarding the use of marijuana have loosened considerably in recent years as state-by-state legalization has changed how we view the drug. In Missouri, the recreational use of marijuana was recently legalized for those 21 and older, while medical marijuana has been legal since 2018. Despite these changes, marijuana possession is still illegal in many situations, and having it on your person or property can lead to criminal charges. If you are facing marijuana possession charges in Columbia, it is important to understand the laws and have an experienced drug attorney on your side.
Despite being the 21st state to pass recreational marijuana laws, legal possession of the drug in Missouri is not a foregone conclusion. For example, the University of Missouri (Mizzou) still maintains marijuana possession rules for its campus that are stricter than those of the state. The university referenced the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, citing the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act as the basis of its rules. Students who are caught with marijuana on campus could face disciplinary action, which could include suspension or expulsion. Call a Columbia marijuana possession lawyer to learn more about these laws.
Besides being illegal to possess in any form on Mizzou’s campus, marijuana possession on city property in Columbia is also illegal and can carry criminal charges. This includes parks, sidewalks, and public transportation. Marijuana products can also not be possessed in public or private schools of any type.
Additionally, there are specific possession laws in Columbia and the state of Missouri that should be understood. Currently, an adult, aged 21 or older can possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana without penalty. Beyond that, there are criminal penalties that could include jail time and fines, community service, and/or probation.
It’s also important to understand that historically if someone was charged with being in possession of more than 35g, but less than 30kg, it is treated as an intent to distribute. This is a felony and can result in anywhere from 3-10 years in jail (up to 15 years if it is to a minor), and up to 30 years – or even life – in jail if the distribution charge involves being near a school, park, or public housing. When you are facing these marijuana possession charges, calling a skilled attorney is crucial.
With the recent passage of recreational marijuana laws in Missouri, it can be confusing to understand what is legal and what is not. However, as the saying goes, “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” That’s why it is important to have an experienced marijuana possession lawyer who understands the circumstances of your case and can help you with legal defense strategies.
A knowledgeable Columbia lawyer can provide guidance on marijuana possession cases, including investigating the circumstances that led to your arrest or citation, examining the evidence, and building your case. They may also be able to negotiate with prosecutors to have marijuana possession charges reduced or dismissed. Even minor marijuana possession charges can have a long-term impact on your criminal record, so it is important to take the charges seriously.
At the Law Office of Chris Miller, we understand that marijuana possession laws can be complex and penalties severe. We are here to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
As experienced marijuana possession lawyers in Columbia, we will work hard on your behalf and fight for a positive outcome. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.