A very important meeting regarding the proposed Columbia personal use marijuana cultivation ordinance will take place next Thursday, May 8 at 5:30 p.m. A “joint” meeting of the Columbia Board of Health and Substance Abuse Advisory Commission will take place that afternoon at the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services located at 1005 W. Worley in Columbia. These two citizen groups have been asked by the Columbia City Council to review and make recommendations concerning the ordinance proposed by Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe which would place prosecution of six or fewer marijuana plants under city ordinance where defendants would not face the possibility of prison or jail.
The ordinance encourages the Court to make use of a form of probation known as Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS) and require defendants to engage in counseling or perform community service work. The Court is also authorized to impose fines of up to $250.
This ordinance would amend the two initiatives passed by the voters of our city in 2004 by overwhelming margins which deal with general adult possession of up to one and one quarter ounces of marijuana and possession for medical use of the same amounts.
Current state law provides for five to 15 years in prison for as little as attempting to sprout one seed. If such activity is within 2,000 feet of the outer edge of the property of any school or school bus, the penalty range increases to 10 to 30 years or life in prison!
Please make plans now to attend this very important meeting which is specifically for the purpose of hearing citizen input regarding this proposal.
Dan Viets, Missouri NORML Coordinator
and Show-Me-Cannabis Board Chair