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Medical marijuana laws in Missouri challenges users and law enforcement

(WCAX)
Published: Oct. 30, 2019 at 8:53 PM CDT
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Marijuana is now legal in Missouri, for medicinal purposes only, after voters approved it last year.

However, following and applying the law is becoming difficult not only for patients but for law enforcement.

Missouri Secretary of State, John Ashcroft, published emergency rules to follow July 1, 2019.

"The law is very convoluted," said Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott.

Medical marijuana patient, Julie Gariepy said, "This is 32 pages right here of emergency rules. Even I don't know everything."

Earlier this week, we told you about the traffic stop she was involved in. She was the passenger in the vehicle.

"Article 14, page 16, section five says that patients can legally possess their four ounce limit now," she explained.

Her medical marijuana was confiscated by a Greene County Deputy.

"What we're trying to do with our agency is be as open as possible because people have misconstrued what the law really means. That's why we're being lenient with it as in this case. We didn't issue a citation or make an arrest. The deputy would have been well within his authority to do that," said Arnott.

We sat down with him to take a closer look at Gariepy's situation and how the law applies.

"There was marijuana wax which is illegal, still illegal today, that this person possessed," he said. "Even if they grew it at home with a cultivation card it would be illegal for them to make it into a wax. That, specifically says in article 14, you cannot do that."

According to the report he provided, the driver of the car Julie was in told deputies he smoked the wax about 12 hours before the stop.

Arnott said, "Because you have a medical marijuana card does not mean that you can share it with the individual in the car."

He said that this is why Gariepy's user and cultivation cards were not considered by law enforcement.

The deputy took her pot products and issued a warning.

"Before you wind up in jail you better read the statutes. Instead of trying to show a deputy what the statutes are you better know them yourself," said Arnott.

Sheriff Jim Arnott is part of a state-wide panel that is working to establish firm laws for medical pot use.

If you want to check out all of this information for yourself click on the link in this story.

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