Pitfalls of Legal Marijuana Purchases for Missouri Consumers

New laws in Illinois permitting the sale of marijuana for recreational use became effective on January 1, 2020. These laws are separate from the previously enacted medical marijuana laws in Illinois. Legal sales of marijuana and THC infused products exceeded $3,000,000.00 on the first day of the new law and it’s safe to assume that some of those sales were to Missouri residents.

While it may be legal for Missouri residents (21 years of age or older) to purchase (up to 15 grams) and ingest marijuana and THC infused products in Illinois, the mere possession of marijuana is still a crime in the state of Missouri (absent a medical marijuana card).

It should be noted that it remains a federal crime to possess marijuana anywhere (even in Illinois).

Problems arise when Missouri residents return to Missouri with marijuana (regardless of the legality of the purchase in Illinois or elsewhere). Doing so can result in a Class A Misdemeanor charge of Possession of Marijuana which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.00. Amounts greater than 35 grams can be prosecuted as a felony. For those on probation or parole, possession of marijuana can result in a revocation of that status.

For individuals seeking federal financial aid for college tuition the impact of a drug conviction can bring with it other consequences. See our previous post, “Possession of Marijuana: The Unrealized Effects in an Era of Relaxed and New Laws.

Lastly, laws regarding impaired driving as well as workplace safety and drug testing (in Missouri and Illinois) are not affected by these new laws. You can still be charged with driving under the influence of drugs and be terminated from employment where drug use (even marijuana) is prohibited.

Simply put, while marijuana may now be more accessible for legal purchase for Missourians, the impacts of possession and the effects of consumption have not changed in Missouri.

Please contact one of our attorneys at 573-221-3225 with any questions you have.

This information is not designed to solicit representation or offer legal advice and does not form the attorney-client relationship.

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