JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House added a provision to a measure that would prevent medical marijuana databases from being sent to the federal government as they gave initial approval to Rep. Ron Hicks’ bill.
The lower chamber put their own stamp on a measure allowing Missourians who obtain their medical marijuana card to have misdemeanor offenses removed from their record on Wednesday morning. Since marijuana possession is already an expungeable offense, HB 341 would require that notices be sent to those who obtain a medical marijuana card that previous charges could be sealed.
Hicks said that with the state legalizing medical marijuana it makes sense to look backward to decriminalize those offenses. He specifically notes that there could be individuals being hindered in their life for something they are now legally allowed to do.
“We are talking about small offenses. I am not asking you to let murderers go,” said Hicks.
Under the legislation, only those with specific misdemeanor offenses who apply for a medical marijuana card would be eligible. Those convicted of trafficking and selling marijuana would not qualify, nor would convictions with physical assault, sex offender registry, or death involved.
An amendment by Rep. Nick Schroer would prevent medical marijuana databases from being sent to the federal government. He noted it was basically the same things that the General Assembly did a few years back with concealed carry permits.
“I don’t think the federal government has any right to this information,” said Schroer.
“I think your amendment is a great idea,” Rep. Gina Mitten told him.
While the bill gained bipartisan support, some rejected the bill as a whole.
Rep. Lane Roberts argued that marijuana was illegal at the point when the individuals made the decision to use it and the bill shouldn’t be open-ended just because it is legal in some cases now.
The measure needs one more vote in the House before moving to the Senate.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.