You can apply for a Missouri medical marijuana card starting July 4, 2019, and medical marijuana is expected to be available by January 2020.
How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card
Here’s how to get a medical marijuana card in Missouri:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be a legal resident of Missouri
- You must have been diagnosed with a “qualifying condition”
- You must apply for a medical marijuana identification card from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
What Medical Conditions Qualify You For A Medical Marijuana Card
You may qualify for a Missouri medical marijuana card if you have been diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or many other chronic conditions.
Here is a list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.
When Can You Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card
Applications for Missouri medical marijuana cards will be accepted starting July 4, 2019.
Applications for medical marijuana are not available yet. You can check with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services online to see if the application is available. They expect that an online application will be available no later than June, 4, 2019.
Once your application is approved, you can purchase marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary.
Medical marijuana is tentatively expected to be available by January 2020.
Where To Get More Information About Using, Growing, Or Dispensing Medical Marijuana In Missouri
If you have questions about growing or dispensing marijuana, or applying for a medical marijuana card, you can email the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at: [email protected]
Recreational Marijuana Use Is Still Illegal In Missouri
Even though medical marijuana has been approved in Missouri, recreational marijuana use is still illegal.
If you get caught with marijuana or paraphernalia, you can hire a criminal defense attorney to get your drug charges dismissed or amended to a less serious offense, such as “Littering.”
The outcome of your marijuana case depends on the following:
- Your criminal history
- The amount of weed you possessed when police caught you
- Which court your case is being prosecuted in (municipal court or state court)
- Your age
- The skill and experience of your attorney
Some Counties In Missouri Are Not Prosecuting Possession of Marijuana
Prosecutors in St. Louis County Circuit Court and St. Louis City Circuit Court announced in 2018 that they will not prosecute possession of 100 grams or less of marijuana.
In addition, the Prosecutor for Jackson County Circuit Court stated that they will not pursue simple marijuana cases unless they involve impaired driving, children, or selling marijuana.
PLEASE NOTE: Marijuana possession is still being prosecuted in hundreds of municipal courts throughout Missouri, including St. Louis County and Jackson County. So, just because the prosecutor for the St. Louis County Circuit Court refuses to prosecute marijuana possession does not mean that you can’t be prosecuted for marijuana possession in municipal courts in St. Louis County, such as Maryland Heights, Chesterfield, Bridgeton, Creve Coeur, etc.
Penalties For Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Missouri Can Include Jail Time
Here is a list of the penalties for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Missouri:
- 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana (first-time offender) = $500 fine but no jail time
- 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana (not a first-time offender) = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
- Drug Paraphernalia (first-time offender) = $500 fine but no jail time
- Drug Paraphernalia (not a first-time offender) = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
- 11 to 35 grams of Marijuana= $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
What Happens If You Plead Guilty To Possession Of Marijuana?
If you plead guilty to marijuana possession (even if it’s just an ordinance violation in municipal court), you will have a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record.
FOR EXAMPLE: In St. Louis City Municipal Court, the fine for possession of a small amount of marijuana is only $25 but if you plead guilty, you will end up with a conviction for drug possession on your permanent criminal record.
Having a drug conviction on your record can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, or obtaining federal student aid for college. You can also be evicted from government subsidized housing if you are convicted of marijuana possession.
I discussed why you should not plead guilty to marijuana possession in my previous blog post, “Don’t Plead Guilty To Possession Of 10 Grams Or Less Of Marijuana.”
Missouri Marijuana Laws
Missouri’s law regarding possession of a controlled substance is RSMO 579.015
Missouri’s law regarding unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia is RSMO 579.074
How Much Does It Cost To Fight Your Marijuana Ticket?
Most criminal defense attorneys offer a free consultation and can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you. They can also give you an estimate of the outcome of your case.
I discuss this subject in more depth in my blog post, “How To Get Your Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Tickets Dismissed Or Reduced To Littering.”
If you can’t afford to hire a private criminal defense attorney, you can contact the public defender’s office in the county in which you were charged to apply for a Missouri public defender.
For a free consultation about your Missouri marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket, contact attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected]