In other news this week, Missouri State Representative Ian Mackey proposed a new cannabis bill. KOMU8 shared the proposal of House Bill 1876 which only reads
“Notwithstanding any provision of law, the odor of marijuana alone shall not provide a law enforcement officer with probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of a motor vehicle, home, or other private property.”
In fewer words, warrantless searches based on the smell of cannabis are now illegal. This was all at the same time that Illinois did its second round of R3 investments into the community. The Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program is part of the state’s adult-use bill. R3 reinvest 25% of cannabis tax revenue back into communities affected by prohibition through legal aid, youth development, community reentry and financial support. As many in the state agree, their goal is to correct the harm done by the War on Drugs.
“The discussion around cannabis has grown to the point where we have to talk about legalization with the understanding that we have an industry. A lot of those initial conversations didn’t center around equity—it was really about freeing the plant. What Illinois did was different. And the biggest lesson I learned—and I think what people respond to—is that if you’re going to normalize and legalize a product for whom the prohibition of that exact same product destroyed generations of communities, you have to center those two things together.”The state’s new Marijuana Policy Project President & CEO Toi Hutchinson said about the nascent stages of reform discussions
RESULTS OF PROHIBITION
The Democrat representative out of Richmond Heights says recent rulings with cannabis inspired the bill. Any legal state’s community can attest to the unfair rulings. Though the bill has some vague language, the little wording leaves little to misinterpret. At the very least, we can appreciate a representative seeing hypocrisy in how the laws are enforced.
“Medicinal marijuana is legal in Missouri,” Rep. Mackey said. “It makes sense because of these new laws [the smell of marijuana alone] should not be a justifiable reason for a police officer to begin searching property or a particular individual. Obviously smoking marijuana and driving impaired is illegal, as it should be. And so if someone has glassy eyes, if someone’s movements indicate that they’re impaired obviously that is still well within the purview of a warrantless search, but not the smell of cannabis alone.”
At the moment, there is no hearing scheduled for the bill.