Series 105 2004 ORDINANCES/RESOLUTIONS
Section 105-376; Defeated B245-04; Amending Chapter 16 of the City Code by adding a section to Division 23 relating to prosecuting marijuana and paraphernalia cases in the Municipal Court of the City of Columbia
Bill No. B 245-04
amending Chapter 16 of the City Code by adding a section to Division 23 relating to
marijuana and paraphernalia cases in the Municipal Court of the City of Columbia; and fixing the
time when this ordinance shall become effective.
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, AS
SECTION 1. Chapter 16 of the Code of Ordinances of the
City of Columbia, Missouri, is
amended by adding the following:
Material to be added
Sec. 16-255.2 Policies for enforcing marijuana offenses.
(a) The purpose of this section is to ensure that adults as defined
by state criminal statutes
are not arrested and suffer only a fine and/or community service or counseling and no other
punishment or penalty, for the possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and/or
marijuana paraphernalia. This section shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of
(b) When any law enforcement officer suspects any adult as defined
by state criminal statutes of
possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and/or possession of marijuana paraphernalia,
that person shall not be required to post bond, suffer arrest, be taken into custody for any purpose
nor detained for any reason other than the issuance of a summons, suffer incarceration, suffer
loss of drivers license, or any other punishment or penalty other than the issuance of a summons
and, if found guilty, a fine of up to two hundred fifty (250) dollars. There shall be a strong
presumption that the proper disposition of any such case is to defer prosecution or to suspend the
imposition of sentence and/or require community service work and/or drug counseling and
education. All such matters shall only be referred to the Municipal Prosecuting Attorney, and
other prosecuting attorney, and the Municipal Prosecuting Attorney shall not refer the matter to
any other prosecutor, agency, or office, unless the adult is also charged with a felony offense
arising from the same set of facts and circumstances.
(c) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision
of this section is declared
invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions of the section which can be given effect
without the invalid provision.
(d) Any city ordinance or regulation that is inconsistent with this
section shall be null and
(e) The message of this section is that people should not use marijuana,
but should also not
lose opportunities for education and employment because of such use. The limited resources of
law enforcement should be directed primarily toward crimes of violence or property loss. The
enforcement of laws against marijuana shall be the lowest law enforcement priority.
SECTION 2. This ordinance shall be in full force and effect
from and after its passage.
DEFEATED this 2nd day of August, 2004.