As the city of St. Louis continues to soften punishment for marijuana possession, law enforcement officials and prosecutors in the metro-east say they aren’t opposed to more lenient policies, either.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner instructed her staff this week not to pursue any cases involving possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana — enough for roughly 200 joints.
Top prosecutors in Madison and St. Clair counties said there are more pressing matters than pursuing low-level pot cases, though neither said they would go as far as the St. Louis circuit attorney in implementing sweeping policies on how to prosecute — or not prosecute — marijuana possession.
“I think that allowing citizens to have an opportunity to have input on what the law ought to be through their legislatures, through a larger discussion as a society is the appropriate way for these laws to be made,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons. “We’re going to continue to follow laws as they’re written by the Legislature.”
Gardner’s new policy follows changes to law in both Illinois and Missouri, as well as less severe punishment for marijuana offenses in St. Louis. The city’s board of aldermen passed an ordinance in March setting the maximum fine at $25 for possessing small amounts of pot.
In Illinois, anyone caught with less