Springfield MO Considers Marijuana Ordinance

MISSOURI: Residents of any age might be allowed to erase a youthful indiscretion involving marijuana under an expungement bill debated Monday by Springfield City Council.

The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Craig Hosmer, would allow someone convicted of a municipal marijuana possession or paraphernalia offense to have the charge removed from his or her criminal record.

To qualify, the applicant would have to complete any community service or probation and go two years without any felony convictions or other pending charges.

Hosmer said the idea came from the expungement provision that was included in a marijuana decriminalization petition the council scuttled last year.

If “reasonable people can disagree” about whether marijuana should be decriminalized, Hosmer said, it makes sense to allow a one-time mistake to be removed from the record.

He acknowledged that city legal staff have questioned the legality of the proposal — state law doesn’t expressly allow the city to expunge convictions, but it doesn’t ban it, either.

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