A St. Louis alderwoman has filed a proposal to allow marijuana to be used, sold and grown in the city.
A board bill submitted by Megan Green and supported by six other aldermen would repeal a portion of a city ordinance that specifies enforcement policies for possession of marijuana.
It would also seek to “minimize disproportionate penalties for violations”. Green told the Post-Dispatch that the plan would allow the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to focus on violent, more serious crime at a time when police resources are limited.
The bill notes that the department has contended that it’s understaffed by over 110 officers. It further acknowledges that federal law makes enforcement of state laws on marijuana by the city a redundant and wasteful use of city resources.
The bill also specifies that the city places a high priority on fighting violent crime, and places a low enforcement priority on enforcing marijuana laws.
The Post-Dispatch reports that the bill will be read for the first time Friday when the Board of Aldermen meet, and that Green is confident she could garner enough support for its passage in the coming weeks.
Green also authored a city ordinance this year that prohibits discrimination in St. Louis based on pregnancy decisions. The state legislature passed an abortion measure in a special session over the summer that was partially aimed at nullifying ordinance. It’s unclear what effect that legislation has had so far.
The Republican dominated legislature also overturned a minimum wage increase that St. Louis implemented earlier this year. The city actually passed an ordinance in 2015 to hike minimum pay to $10 by 2017.
A court battle between legislature and the city ensued, with the city’s minimum wage eventually rising to $10 in May of this year. A measure passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Eric Greitens eliminated that increase and brought the minimum wage in St. Louis back down to the statewide level of $7.70 per hour.
Including Green, the marijuana bill has the backing of seven St. Louis aldermen. It’s unknown how the full board of 28 alderman will react to the plan when it’s introduced Friday.