Missouri has passed an amendment that legalizes the use of recreational cannabis in the state, becoming the 21st state in the U.S. to do so. The amendment to Missouri’s state constitution not only legalizes recreational cannabis but also sets a precedent to expunge criminal records of any nonviolent charges related to cannabis use or possession.
Missouri Amendment 3
Citizens of Missouri voted to pass Amendment 3 in November 2022 to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. After campaigning for months to urge voters to pass the measure, legalization supporters won out, with 53% of Missourians saying yes to Amendment 3.
Now, many are looking forward to the positive effects that legalizing cannabis will bring to the state of Missouri and its citizens. One of the most significant ones being the amendment’s established process to clear criminal records of Missourians with nonviolent cannabis-related charges.
When Can I Buy Recreational cannabis in Missouri?
Although Amendment 3 was passed in November 2022, the law won’t go into effect until at least December 8th, 2022. People will have to wait even longer to purchase cannabis legally. The earliest date that Missourians will be able to purchase cannabis products is February 6th, 2023.
How Amendment 3 Effects Missourians’
The passage of Amendment 3 will affect Missourians, and the way they use recreational cannabis, in several ways.
Cannabis-Related Charges and Criminal Records
Perhaps the biggest win for the passage of Amendment 3 (other than the legalization of recreational cannabis) is that it will automatically clear any nonviolent charges related to cannabis use or possession for Missourians’ criminal records. This means that their records will be sealed and unavailable to the public by June 2023.
The law, however, does not apply to people currently in jail or those with charges for driving under the influence or selling cannabis products to minors.
Smoking Weed in Public
Missourians will be able to smoke weed in public the same way they can smoke tobacco in public. Any area designated as non-smoking will apply to both tobacco and cannabis smokers. Anyone who violates this rule will receive the corresponding civil penalty and may have to pay a fee. Citizens may also not possess or smoke tobacco on school grounds or in correctional facilities.
Smoking and Driving
Smoking while driving continues to be illegal in Missouri after the passage of Amendment 3. Citizens are also prohibited from smoking inside trains, aircrafts, motor boats, buses, and other moving motor vehicles. There is no threshold for how much cannabis can be in a person’s system. The law prohibits operating any vehicle under the influence of cannabis.
Other Positive Effects
Missourians pushing for the legalization of recreational cannabis raved about the many positive effects it will bring to their State. For many, this amendment was about much more than legalizing recreational cannabis use. It was about introducing a growing industry into the state. Supporters tout endless benefits of Amendment 3, including:
- Increased revenue for the State
- Access to cannabis for patients who cannot get medical cannabis
- Funding more State programs
- Growth, opportunity, and innovation in a new and burgeoning industry