St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, in an email sent to her staff Tuesday, said her office will no longer prosecute typical possession charges for less than 100 grams of cannabis, according to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
This step is the city’s next towards full decriminalization following a decision earlier this year by the St. Louis’ Board of Aldermen to cut the penalty for possessing small amounts of cannabis from up to $500 for 35 grams or less to $25 for the same amount.
“Today, after reviewing our data relating to drug possession cases, I have determined that these cases are hampering our ability to administer justice for the people of the city of St. Louis.” — Kim Gardner, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In the email to staff, Gardner said that her chief warrant officer and team leaders would evaluate every cannabis possession offense for less than 100 grams. If there were no “aggravating circumstances,” the case would be dismissed. Gardner also said that she would review other drug possession or paraphernalia cases and decide if they will be dismissed or placed into a diversion program.
The decision is controversial. Several people involved with the St. Louis Police Department have taken issue with Gardner’s edict. Schron Jackson, a spokesperson for the St. Louis Police, said officers will “continue to enforce the Missouri Controlled Substances Laws as they are written,” according to The Associated Press.