Throughout the fall of 2017, the legislation committee at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen saw the introduction of two bills pertaining to the usage of marijuana.
Board Bill 180, sponsored by Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green, seeks to address decriminalization of marijuana by limiting the ability of police officers to enforce city ordinances prohibiting its use. This limitation would have been restricted only to people in their own homes, and not public use or in a vehicle. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) supported this bill. It also received a letter of support from The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The other bill, Board Bill 193, sponsored by aldermanic President Lewis Reed, seeks to only lower the fine associated with being charged with possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana.
When compared to each other, it becomes clear that Reed’s bill does absolutely nothing to address the decriminalization of marijuana. So, it begs the question: Why did Reed’s marijuana legislation reach perfection first, despite Green’s bill being created first and having a much more direct manner of addressing the issue?
To understand this, one must look at how city government has worked over the years. While some of the complications that arose in the first committee hearing of