A state lawmaker is proposing an open container law for marijuana in Missouri. It’s called House Bill 295, which would make it an offense for having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle. Violating the law would be a class A misdemeanor.

The bill sponsor, Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, said he was approached by sheriffs before Amendment 3 passed. They expressed concern about the way the amendment was written. He said some items should have been added to the measure.

“One concern, how do we keep it out of the hands of children when you transport it? The other was how do you keep it when you transport, and particularly if it’s an open container without being sealed from the odor, you effectively have eliminated most of our drug dogs that we have in the state because they are trained to hit on marijuana and other drugs,” explained Haden.

Haden has labeled it a public safety concern that an open container law wasn’t added to Amendment 3’s language when it was brought before the voters.

“The Amendment says you can’t openly smoke in a car and drive. But what about transport? Basically the bill just described it has to be transported in a childproof container and in an odor proof container,” he said.

Haden explained his intent is not to overturn Amendment 3, but to clarify the bill because of the questions that law enforcement have raised.

Not everyone approves of Haden’s proposal, like Arnie Dienoff, who writes that law enforcement officers could abuse this measure.

A House committee could soon vote on his legislation.

Click here for more information on the bill.

Copyright © 2023 · Missourinet