Mo. House member pushes softer marijuana penalties
MDN Menu
MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News

Mo. House member pushes softer marijuana penalties

Date: February 7, 2013
By: Ke'yanna Johnson
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB512

Intro: 
Democrats in the state Capitol want softer penalties for pot possession, but they have to get past the Republicans first.
RunTime:  0:37
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Democrat Rory Ellinger of University City is sponsoring a  house bill that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession. The measure would make it so that people who possess a small amount would only pay a fine. 

Democrat Chris Kelly of Columbia says small non-violent crimes shouldn't be a stain on someone's record.

Actuality:  KELLY.WAV
Run Time:  00:07
Description: "At some point,society got to let people up and let them go back to being productive citizens."

But, Republicans are opposed to the idea. They say softening penalties for pot could make people do dangerous things while under the influence.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Ke'yanna Johnson.

Intro: 
While Democrats in the state Capitol are pushing for softer penalties for pot possession, Republicans have signaled their opposition.
RunTime:  0:34
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap:  Two Democratic lawmakers are pushing a House bill that would make it so that people who possess a small amount of marijuana would only be fine rather than face jail time.

 But some conservatives are pushing back on the idea. Republican Robert Cornejo of St.Peters says safety should be taken into consideration.

Actuality:  CORNEJO.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "Sometimes when people are under the influence of cannabis and other marijuana, sometimes they do stuff that is harmful to society."

The bill's supporters say past offenses shouldn't haunt someone with a non-violent offense.

 Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Ke'yanna Johnson

Intro: 
A Democratic proposal to soften penalties for pot possession is moving through the Missouri legislature.
RunTime:  0:40
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Democrat Rory Ellinger of University City is sponsoring a  House bill that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession. The measure would make it so that people who possess a small amount would only pay a fine.

Dan Viets, a lawyer from Columbia says past offenses shouldn't follow someone for the rest of their life.

Actuality:  VIETS.WAV
Run Time:  00:12
Description: "Non-violent crimes like marijuana and paraphernalia possession shouldn't haunt a person for the rest of his or her life. Right now,that's what it does and especially with the advent of the Internet and the case dot net database."
 But some conservatives are pushing back on the idea. They say softening penalties could increase dangerous behavior.
 
Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Ke'yanna Johnson.


Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.