Few in St. Louis Face Fines, Jail Time for Marijuana Violations
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Few people are being fined or facing jail time for marijuana violations since St. Louis changed its law last summer.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 127 people have been charged under a new city ordinance that reduced penalties for those caught with small amounts of marijuana. Just one person who pleaded guilty to a possession charge has been fined under the new ordinance.
Of cases that reached disposition, many resulted in suspended sentences.
The biggest proponent of the change, Alderman Shane Cohn, says the intent was to free up police and prosecutors to focus on more serious crimes while also lessening penalties and helping offenders avoid costs associated with cases that go to state court.