Press Release: NCADA expresses concern with proposed marijuana free-for-all

For Immediate Release
Contact: Brandon Costerison
314-962-3456 x 315 (office)

(St. Louis) – On February 13, a St. Louis Board of Aldermen committee heard testimony on Board Bill 180, which prevents city resources being expended to enforce laws related to marijuana. As written, this ordinance should be extremely concerning to everyone, regardless of where one stands in relation to the legality of marijuana.

“We know marijuana policy has to change, the status quo is indefensible,” said Howard Weissman, Executive Director of NCADA. “With that said, this bill doesn’t give us a way forward, it merely opens the door for almost any activity related to marijuana’s use or sale. What it doesn’t say is almost as concerning as what it does say.”

While Board Bill 180 does limit possession and sales to individuals over 21 years of age, and at least 1000 feet from a school, it fails to adequately regulate the drug. There are no mechanisms contained in Board Bill 180 to test marijuana for contaminants or chemical profile, no labelling requirements, and no advertising restrictions. In addition, employers would not be able to establish marijuana abstinence policies, according to the current version of the bill. The appeal for many states which have legalized, or are considering legalizing marijuana is the revenue stream that would be created. Board Bill 180 provides no ability to regulate and tax the marijuana trade that would be created with its passage.

“If St. Louis, or Missouri as a whole, is going to consider legalizing marijuana, it should be done in a carefully crafted, comprehensive manner,” Weissman said. “Instead of restricting what city resources can be used to do, perhaps the Board of Aldermen should look at opportunities to increase resources for substance related prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery. In the meantime, creating a small island of legal marijuana sales amidst a sea of conflicting laws and restrictions is misguided and would likely lead to the mass diversion of marijuana from the City to surrounding cities and counties.”

NCADA’s full policy position on the legalization of marijuana is available as a PDF.

NCADA is a community health agency that works to reduce or prevent the harms of alcohol and other drug use through education, intervention and advocacy.

Categories: News

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