The idea that some people might drive from Illinois or Missouri suburbs to deal drugs in St. Louis is one of the reasons Joe Vacarro is uncomfortable with a marijuana bill before the City Board of Aldermen.
Vaccaro is chairman of the board’s 10-member legislative committee, which held a public hearing on Board Bill 180 this week. The bill would direct St. Louis police not to spend their time or energy enforcing laws on the use, growth or sale of marijuana.
“It would be very convenient for people (from other places) to do their marijuana sales in the city,” said Vacarro, 62, who represents Ward 23 in southwest St. Louis. “You don’t have to be a resident.”
Vaccaro also is concerned about issues raised by City Counselor Julian Bush, who said the bill, if adopted as an ordinance, could get city employees, including police, into legal trouble.
“It’s a crime for a police officer to refuse to execute a warrant, and this ordinance directs them not to execute a warrant and punishes them if they do,” Bush said.
Bush’s other concern is that Missouri law requires the city to provide a courthouse for circuit-court cases and, he said, the marijuana bill would prohibit city property from being used to punish people charged with possession.
Megan Green, the St. Louis alderwoman