Initial vote scheduled on lesser penalties on marijuana

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will have a preliminary vote Monday to amend the city's marijuana laws.

The amendment would make it legal to cultivate marijuana, if the person has obtained permission from a doctor for medical uses. It would also eliminate punishment of possessing 35 grams of marijuana or less.

Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe presented the amendment to the council, but it was tabled at the last city council meeting.

The Columbia Housing Authority and the Youth Community Coalition have spoken against the change.

Youth Community Coalition Program Director Erin Friesz said it would allow children to get marijuana easier.

The vote is at 7 p.m.