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St. Louis Alderman Pushing for Reduced Pot Penalties

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A St. Louis alderman wants the city to reduce the penalties for possessing a small amount of marijuana in what he says is about fairness and efficiency.

Alderman Shane Cohn plans to introduce a bill Friday that would allow St. Louis police to send people with a small amount of marijuana to municipal court, instead of state courts, would save police and prosecutors time and money and would stop treating recreational users as felons.

“This is something that will help with some efficiency within the government, but also provide relief for the citizens of St. Louis who, quite frankly, can’t afford a felony conviction on their record,” said Cohn.

Cohn’s proposal would provide for fines of between $100 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail. The proposal also would exempt anyone from another state who has a prescription for medical marijuana.

Cohn says the ordinance doesn’t define what would be considered a small amount, allowing police to make that decision.

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