Sponsor Wants Marijuana Cultivation Bill To Allow Fewer Plants

MISSOURI:  The sponsor of an ordinance to decriminalize the cultivation of marijuana plants has asked the Columbia City Council to again table the proposal after she pared back how many plants are permissible.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe is asking the council on Monday night to table the bill that would relax the city’s municipal marijuana laws until its Oct. 20 meeting. Hoppe said she requested the ordinance be tabled because Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas plans to be absent from Monday’s meeting and to give the city’s Law Department more time to review the changes.

Before the latest amendments, the bill would have altered city law so that someone caught by Columbia police cultivating up to six plants is subject to a $250 fine. Under the proposal, people deemed as “seriously ill” could have had six plants without facing any penalty. City ordinance defines “seriously ill” patients as those with multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, migraine headaches, arthritis, chronic severe pain or any illness a physician says is treatable with marijuana.

Hoppe’s amendments change the number of plants to two and add a provision that the plants must be kept indoors in a locked enclosure that children can’t get to. She said the amendments were meant to allay concerns about a bill she said can keep undeserving people out of legal trouble.


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