Missouri Lawmakers Push Open-Container Penalty For Marijuana—But State Doesn’t A Have Similar Policy For AlcoholPosted by On

“I’m just looking at this as kind of an encroachment, where maybe one day they can come back and make marijuana illegal again.”

By Rebecca Rivas, Missouri Independent

A Missouri House committee discussed a bill Thursday meant to mirror Illinois’s open-container law for having marijuana in vehicles.

The bill from Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, would require all marijuana products in vehicles to be kept in odor-proof and child-proof containers.

“I don’t claim to be an expert on marijuana—I’ve never inhaled,” Haden said, earning laughs from members of the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. “So let’s clear the air.”

The idea for the legislation, Haden said, came from local sheriffs who expressed frustration about enforcing the driving while intoxicated provisions under the 38-page constitutional amendment, which appeared on the November ballot as Amendment 3 and was approved by voters.

People can’t consume marijuana while driving a vehicle—or while riding in a vehicle—under Amendment 3. However, officers can’t use smelling marijuana as the “basis for detention, search or arrest.”

“Amendment 3 specifically prohibits even passengers from smoking marijuana in the car,” said Audrain County Sheriff Matt Oller, testifying in favor of the bill. “However, it lays out nothing as far as how we deal with that. There’s no process. Nobody knows.”

He called Amendment 3 “a 38-page mess” that doesn’t address public safety or…

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