What to Do if Pulled Over with Cannabis in South Carolina

Getting pulled over with cannabis in South Carolina can be a stressful experience with severe consequences. If you consume cannabis, you will want to know the facts and be prepared.

 

What Should You Do if You Are Pulled Over in South Carolina?

 

The first thing to remember if the police pull you over is to remain calm. Use your turn signal, and pull your vehicle to a safe location on the right side of the road. Follow the officer’s instructions, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

 

Will a Medical Cannabis Card From Another State Protect Me From Cannabis DUI or Possession Charges in South Carolina?

 

No, holding a medical cannabis card from another state will not protect you from cannabis DUI or cannabis possession charges in South Carolina.

Cannabis is still federally illegal, and each state’s laws are different. There is no reciprocity between states for medical cannabis cardholders.

A medical cannabis card in any state will not protect you from being charged or convicted of a cannabis DUI. In fact, you can be considered impaired for DUI purposes if you take any drug, including medications prescribed by your doctor, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, alcohol, or any combination.

 

What Are Implied Consent Laws in South Carolina?

 

Every state, including South Carolina, has implied consent laws. Implied consent laws state that any person driving in the state is considered to have given consent for testing of breath, blood, or urine to determine DUI.

 

If a driver refuses to submit to drug and alcohol testing in South Carolina, they face an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension. If they have a prior alcohol-related conviction or suspension in the past 10 years, they face a 180-day suspension. Refusal could be used against a driver in court if they are charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

What if Police Suspect You Are Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis in South Carolina?

 

South Carolina police need probable cause to pull you over for driving under the influence. Probable causes could include involvement in an accident, erratic driving, swerving, or disobeying traffic signs.

 

In addition to blood, urine or saliva drug testing for cannabis, alcohol, or other drugs, police can inspect a driver for DUI using multiple tests, including:

  • Breathalyzer tests to determine blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, which involves following a moving object with your eye while the officer checks for eye movement patterns that may indicate impairment
  • Physical tests such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg

 

What Are the Penalties for Cannabis Possession in South Carolina?

 

South Carolina has serious penalties for cannabis and paraphernalia possession. There is currently no medical cannabis program in South Carolina. Possession of less than one ounce of cannabis flower or less than 10 grams of concentrate is a misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. The penalties increase with subsequent charges or larger amounts in possession.

 

Make sure you remove paraphernalia from your car while driving through South Carolina. Paraphernalia possession includes any device used or designed for use in consuming cannabis in any way. “Paraphernalia” includes pipes, bongs, roach clips, and chillums. Possession of paraphernalia is a civil offense in South Carolina, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

 

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in South Carolina?

 

South Carolina law allows police to conduct DUI checkpoints as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Police must stop cars in a predictable pattern.
  • The site must be safe and identifiable.
  • The stops must be brief.
  • The checkpoint must be effective and serve the public’s interest.
  • Law enforcement must have a valid reason for the checkpoint, such as an increased DUI rate in the area.
  • Supervisory approval is needed.
  • Law enforcement must publicize the checkpoint.

 

What Happens to Your Vehicle in a Cannabis DUI in South Carolina?

 

If you are arrested for a cannabis DUI in South Carolina, your car can be impounded by police to clear the road. Police can also search it for evidence. If your vehicle is impounded, it will be towed to an impound lot. You will have to pay impound fees plus towing costs to get it back. Getting your vehicle out of impound as soon as possible is best because more fees accrue the longer it is held. Impound fees and towing expenses can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in South Carolina

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in South Carolina is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

What To Do if Pulled Over With Cannabis in Georgia

If you are pulled over by police while driving in Georgia, you first must use your turn signal and pull your car over to a safe location. Follow the officer’s instructions, stay calm, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

 

In Georgia, Cannabis DUI is a serious offense, and the repercussions are severe. Furthermore, Georgia’s cannabis laws are restrictive compared to many other states. If you are driving with cannabis, knowing your rights under the law and being prepared is essential.

Georgia’s Cannabis Laws

 

You cannot grow, sell, or possess cannabis flower in Georgia. Any inhalation, vaping, or smoking of cannabis is illegal, and food products infused with THC are prohibited.

 

The only legal cannabis possession allowed is through Georgia’s medical cannabis program, which helps people with certain health conditions apply for a Low-THC Oil Registry Card. Registered Georgia medical cannabis patients are allowed to possess low-THC oil if they meet the following requirements:

  • The maximum low-THC oil (less than 5% THC) allowed in a medical cannabis patient’s possession is 20 fluid ounces or less. The amount of CBD must be at least equal to THC.
  • A registered cardholder or caregiver must have their registration card in their possession.
  • The cardholder must store the low-THC oil in a labeled pharmaceutical container.

 

However, the law in Georgia is still evolving. Because Georgia has not yet issued dispensing or production licenses, there is no legal way for cardholders to purchase low-THC cannabis oil in Georgia. The result of this incomplete medical cannabis program is that cardholders are in a confusing grey area where they can legally possess, but not legally purchase, low-THC oil. Regardless of whether you have a medical cannabis card in Georgia, you can still get a cannabis DUI charge.

 

If Police Suspect Cannabis DUI in Georgia

 

Police will need probable cause to pull you over for driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other substances. Probable causes could include involvement in an accident, swerving, parking in the middle of the road, or disobeying traffic signs.

 

Implied consent is the concept under the law that by performing the act of driving, a driver automatically consents to a DUI inspection, including alcohol and THC testing. If a driver refuses a DUI inspection, it could be used against them in court if they are charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

Police inspection for DUI can involve multiple tests, including:

  • Breathalyzer test for alcohol to determine blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, which involves following a moving object with your eye where the officer checks for eye movement patterns that may indicate impairment
  • Physical tests such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg
  • Blood, urine or saliva testing for alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs

 

Cannabis blood or urine tests seek THC or THC metabolites. Unlike alcohol, cannabis drug tests do not accurately predict the level of current impairment. Results depend on how long ago you consumed cannabis, how much cannabis you consumed, and individual differences in how fast cannabis passes through your system.

 

Georgia uses specially trained police officers called Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) to determine impairment, and sometimes officers will call a DRE to the scene. DREs complete a 240-hour training with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Their training teaches them to recognize impairment through physiological, mental, and physical evaluations.

 

Georgia police can conduct DUI checkpoints if they meet specific requirements. They must be approved in advance, clearly marked, and minimize traffic disruptions. Random checks are not allowed under the law, so police at a Georgia DUI checkpoint must check every driver that passes through.

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Georgia

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Georgia is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Cannabis DUI Laws in Georgia

A cannabis DUI in Georgia is a serious offense with severe consequences. If you are a cannabis consumer in Georgia, here is everything you need to know about cannabis DUI.

 

Cannabis Consumption in Georgia — Where the Law Stands Now

 

Georgia’s cannabis laws are extremely limiting compared to some other states. It is still illegal in Georgia to grow, sell, or possess cannabis in plant or flower form. Inhalation, vaping, or smoking cannabis is not permitted. Furthermore, the sale, production, or ingestion of food products infused with THC oil is prohibited.

 

Medical cannabis patients and caregivers in Georgia with specific health conditions can apply for a Low-THC Oil Registry Card with their physician. They are issued a card and allowed to possess low-THC oil for medicinal purposes if approved.

 

The following components must be present for lawful possession of low-THC oil in Georgia:

  1. The total amount of low-THC oil must be 20 fluid ounces or less. Low THC oil is defined in Georgia as no more than 5% THC, and it must contain CBD in an amount at least equal to the THC.
  2. The person has their Georgia medical cannabis registration card in possession. For patients under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must possess a card designating them as the patient’s caregiver.
  3. The low-THC oil must be in a pharmaceutical container labeled by the manufacturer that indicates the percentage of THC.

 

However, because no legal sales exist in Georgia, medical cannabis cardholders are left in limbo. Cannabis possession is decriminalized for qualified individuals, but the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission has yet to issue any dispensing or production licenses. Accordingly, there is no legal way to purchase low-THC oil in the state.

 

Furthermore, medical patients should know that a registry card doesn’t change Georgia cannabis DUI laws or penalties when it comes to driving.

 

Penalties and Repercussions of Cannabis DUI in Georgia

 

A cannabis DUI in Georgia is a serious offense with severe repercussions, including fines, jail time, community service, probation, driver’s license suspension, and more. Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy for drugged driving under the influence of cannabis, cannabis metabolites, or other controlled substances.

 

Offense

Fines

Jail Time

Community Service

Probation

Drivers License Suspension

First Offense

$300 to $1,000

10 days to 12 months

(mandatory minimum of 24 hours)

Mandatory minimum of 40 hours

12 months

NA

Second Offense

$600 to $1,000

90 days to 12 months

(mandatory minimum of 72 hours)

Mandatory minimum of 30 days

12 months

3 years

Third Offense

$1,000 to $5,000

120 days to 12 months

(mandatory minimum of 15 days)

Mandatory minimum of 30 days

12 months

five years

Fourth Offense (Felony)

$1,000 to $5,000

1 to 5 years

(mandatory minimum of ninety days)

Mandatory minimum of 60 days

12 months

10 years

 

Fines include fees and assessments which can add 20% to 30% to the amount due. The court also requires DUI offenders to participate in a drug and alcohol risk-reduction program, which costs $175, plus an assessment fee of $75 to be paid by the offender.

 

For repeat offenders, penalties get more severe — and expensive. Starting with the second offense, a photo of the offender will be published in the local newspaper with their name and home address. A judge may also order an ignition interlock device installed on a repeat offender’s car. On the fourth offense, an offender’s vehicle is subject to seizure.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Georgia

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Georgia is expensive, and the penalties are severe. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Given that Georgia has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, even medical cannabis consumers face severe risks if they drive without the slightest THC in their system. If you are a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership offers.

Cannabis DUI in Oregon

Oregon passed adult-use cannabis laws in 2015, and since then, Oregon has grown a reputation for drug-friendliness. It’s the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms while also decriminalizing possession of other drugs like heroin and cocaine. But there is nothing lenient about Oregon laws regarding a cannabis DUI (driving under the influence).

A cannabis DUI charge is a serious offense in Oregon. The best advice for responsible users? Don’t drive high.

In Oregon, a person is guilty of a cannabis DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating controlled substance, alcohol, or a combination.

Even medical cannabis patients in Oregon can face a cannabis DUI arrest. People who think they are doing everything right can still end up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system, so it is vital to know the facts and be prepared.

Here is a closer look at some considerations and potential consequences of driving in Oregon with cannabis in your system.

 

Drug Testing Drivers for THC in Oregon

 

Oregon implied consent law states that when operating a motor vehicle, drivers automatically consent to a drug or alcohol test, including Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC). Police can require a THC test if they have probable cause to believe a driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence or if they are involved in a major auto accident. However, unlike in some states, in Oregon, sobriety checkpoints are not allowed under the state Constitution.

 

Refusal to take a drug test in Oregon after a police officer requests it is punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000. Evidence of refusal to take a drug test can be admissible in court in a cannabis DUI prosecution.

 

THC Stays in Your System

 

Unlike alcohol, which is detectable in your system for hours, THC lingers in a person’s system well after you consume cannabis, even for days or weeks. There is no reliable test to determine whether THC in your body corresponds with cannabis consumption that took place minutes before driving, or from days before, and there is no breathalyzer test for cannabis, THC, or THC metabolites.

THC blood tests can come up positive for days or weeks after consuming cannabis. In THC urine tests, cannabis consumption is detectable for even longer; positive results can come up for weeks or even more than a month.

How “high” you feel is not a good indicator of whether you will test positive on cannabis drug tests. Urine drug tests for THC detect a breakdown product called THC-COOH — not cannabis directly — and the tests do not measure impairment from cannabis.

Similarly, the blood level of cannabis does not directly correlate to the current level of intoxication. The effects of THC are cumulative over time, so if you consume cannabis more regularly, you are more likely to test positive for THC.

In Oregon, police are more likely to collect urine samples from drivers to test for cannabis. Blood samples are more expensive and usually only collected in major accidents.

 

How Do Police Determine A Cannabis DUI in Oregon?

 

Some states, such as Colorado and Washington, have legal minimum THC thresholds for a cannabis DUI conviction, but Oregon does not. Unlike alcohol, there is no specific THC limit for drivers in Oregon.

 

All Oregon officers are trained in recognizing signs of driver impairment, but a smaller group of specialized Oregon police officers complete training to become drug recognition experts (DREs). A DRE will be called to perform a drug influence evaluation if another police officer suspects impairment.

 

Does Having a Medical Card Protect Me From a Cannabis DUI in Oregon?

 

Oregon state law allows for adult use (recreational) and medical cannabis. However, the law specifically states that even if you have a medical cannabis card in Oregon, you can still get a cannabis DUI for driving under the influence.

 

THC levels are still detectable days or even weeks after consumption, and they do not measure the level of impairment. Therefore, medical cannabis patients in Oregon need to be informed and seek protection.

 

What are the possible legal and financial repercussions of DUI with cannabis in Oregon?

 

The penalties in Oregon for a cannabis DUI are serious and can include fines, community service, license suspension, and jail time.

 

Criminal Offense

Driver License Suspension

Fine

Jail Time

First offense

Class A misdemeanor

Minimum 30 days

Minimum $1,000

Maximum $6,250

Minimum 48 hours

Maximum 1 year

Second offense

Class A misdemeanor

Minimum 60 days

Minimum $1,000

Maximum $6,250

Minimum 48 hours

Maximum 1 year

Third offense

Class A misdemeanor

Minimum 1 year

Minimum $2,000

Maximum $6,250

Minimum 48 hours

Maximum 1 year

Fourth offense

Class C misdemeanor

Minimum 1 year

Minimum $2,000

Maximum $125,000

Up to 5 years

 

Legal defense for cannabis DUI charges can cost thousands of dollars. Other expenses can quickly add up for cannabis DUI charges, including incidental expenses such as car impound fees.

 

Cannabis charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important for cannabis consumers to know the facts and create a proactive plan for legal support.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Oregon

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Oregon is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

 

It is imperative for cannabis consumers to understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Considering Oregon has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership has to offer.

What To Do if You Are Pulled Over With Cannabis in Missouri

If you drive in Missouri with cannabis in your car, you may have questions about what happens if you are pulled over by the police. Getting pulled over with cannabis in your car can potentially lead to serious consequences, even for medical cannabis patients who think they are doing everything right within the law.

 

What Should You Do if You Are Pulled Over?

 

If you are pulled over by police, remain calm, use your turn signal, and pull your vehicle to a safe location on the right side of the road. Follow the officer’s instructions, stay calm, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

 

What Happens if You Have a Medical Cannabis Card and Are Pulled Over in Missouri?

 

If you have a medical cannabis card in Missouri, you must have it with you if you are in possession of cannabis. For Missouri medical cannabis patients, the laws for cannabis possession are as follows:

  • Medical cannabis patients who do not cultivate or have cannabis cultivated on their behalf may be in possession of up to a 60-day supply (or eight ounces) of dried unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent.
  • Medical cannabis patients who are cultivating cannabis for medical use, or their caregivers are cultivating on their behalf, may be in possession of up to a 90-day supply (or 12 ounces) of dried unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent. The cannabis that is cultivated must stay on the property and be in the patient’s or caregiver’s control.

 

What if Police Suspect You Are Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis?

 

According to Missouri implied consent law, when operating a motor vehicle drivers automatically consent to a Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) test if arrested. Police can require a driver to take a THC test if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are operating a motor vehicle under the influence, or if they are involved in a major auto accident.

If a driver in Missouri refuses to take a drug test after a police officer requests it, they can be legally forced to do so through a warrant. Refusal to take a test has immediate consequences, such as automatic license revocation for one year. Evidence of refusal to take a drug test can be admissible in court in a cannabis DUI prosecution.

Unlike searching a residence, police do not need a warrant to search your vehicle if they have a reason to suspect you have been consuming cannabis, such as smelling cannabis in your car.

 

Can You Get a Cannabis DUI if You Are a Medical Cannabis Patient in Missouri?

 

According to the state of Missouri, a medical cannabis card “does not offer individuals protection from violating laws pertaining to operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in Article XIV permits a person to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.” Therefore, even if you have a medical cannabis patient card in Missouri, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

What Are the Penalties for Cannabis Possession in Missouri?

 

Cannabis possession is still illegal in Missouri, except for qualified medical cannabis patients. The penalties for cannabis possession in Missouri are as follows:

  • For up to 10 grams on the first offense, the penalty is a misdemeanor and a maximum fine of $500.
  • For up to 10 grams on the second offense, the penalty is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • For 10 to 35 grams, the penalty is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • For more than 35 grams up to 30 kilograms, the penalty is a felony, up to seven years in jail, and a maximum fine of $10,000.

 

What About Getting Pulled Over With Cannabis in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis?

 

A few of Missouri’s major cities introduced cannabis ordinances before statewide 2014 cannabis reforms.

  • Columbia

Starting in 2004, Columbia police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 grams for cannabis possession. These offenders would face a fine instead of up to $300.

  • Kansas City

Starting in 2017, Kansas City reduced its fine to $25 for first-time cannabis possession of fewer than 25 grams. Then in 2020, Kansas City eliminated this first-time fine.

  • St. Louis

Starting in 2013, St. Louis police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 grams for cannabis possession. These offenders would face a fine instead of up to $300.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Missouri

 

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Missouri is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

It is imperative for cannabis consumers to understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Does a Medical Card Protect Against a Cannabis DUI in Missouri?

Missouri_Capital

When people think about a DUI in Missouri, they are usually referring to alcohol. But any drug that causes impairment, including over-the-counter and prescribed medications, can lead to a DUI charge. This includes medical cannabis, even if you have a valid medical cannabis patient card in Missouri.

Missouri legalized medical cannabis in 2018, and there are currently over 175,000 active medical cannabis patients in the state. Many people with medical cannabis cards in Missouri think they are doing everything right within the law, but they can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

Can I Get a Cannabis DUI With a Medical Card in Missouri?

 

Yes! Even if you have a medical cannabis card in Missouri, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

According to the state of Missouri, a medical cannabis card “does not offer individuals protection from violating laws pertaining to operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in Article XIV permits a person to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.”

Medical cannabis laws in Missouri only allow for medical cannabis consumption and not recreational use. However, having a medical card in Missouri does not prevent a driver from being charged with a cannabis DUI.

 

How is a Cannabis DUI Defined in Missouri?

 

A cannabis DUI is a serious offense in Missouri. In Missouri, a person is guilty of a cannabis DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition.

If police suspect a driver is impaired, they have the right to require a cannabis drug test. The police may also seek a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), a specially trained police officer who checks the driver’s vision, balance, pupil dilation, heart rate, and other signs to determine impairment.

Unlike with alcohol DUI charges, there is no legal limit for THC in the bloodstream for drivers in Missouri. Since THC metabolites can linger for days, weeks, or even months after consuming cannabis, drivers could be charged with a cannabis DUI based on the THC in their system from prior medical cannabis consumption, even if they do not feel “high” while driving.

Any kind of medical cannabis can lead to detectable THC in the blood or urine which could lead to a cannabis DUI. This could include flower, vape, edibles, topicals, tinctures, and more.

 

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Missouri

 

The percentage of motor vehicle fatalities involving cannabis in the United States has more than doubled from 9% to about 22% between 2000 and 2018, while fatalities involving alcohol remained stable during the same time frame. The most important part of protecting against a cannabis DUI is to consume responsibly and don’t drive high.

It is important for medical cannabis patients in Missouri to know that if you have a medical cannabis card in the state program, you could still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

A cannabis DUI charge in Missouri is expensive. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access quality legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.

Considering that Missouri has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership has to offer.

MJ in MO — The Current State Of Cannabis Legalization In Missouri

Missouri is far better known for its BBQ than its marijuana buds. Even as nearby Illinois opens up to the weed industry, the Show-Me State has a firm stance against recreational marijuana. But that doesn’t mean the recent “green wave” hasn’t had any effect on Missouri’s cannabis laws. While recreational pot may be illegal, Missouri has begun relaxing its stance towards this green herb. If Missouri’s marijuana activists have their way, this Midwestern state may soon abolish its ban on adult-use recreational marijuana.

 

Missouri’s Marijuana Mandates — Two Historical “High” Points

 

In 2014, Jefferson City legislators made their first move towards significant marijuana reform. Under the successful Senate Bill 491, Missouri downgraded its penalties for petty marijuana possession. Now, first-time offenders caught with below 10 grams of marijuana won’t face jail time. Instead, these residents will have to pay a fine of no more than $500.

Four years after SB 491 passed, Missouri took another step towards marijuana legalization. This time, voters passed Amendment 2, which inaugurated the state’s Medical Marijuana Program.

If Missouri patients have a referral from their doctor, they can submit an MMJ card application to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. Once approved, MMJ patients could legally purchase 10 ounces of cannabis flowers per month from a state-recognized dispensary. These possession limits could be increased depending on each doctor’s recommendations.

 

Are Pot Laws Different In Missouri’s Big Cities?

 

While statewide cannabis reforms didn’t start till 2014, a few of Missouri’s cities introduced new ordinances long before SB 491. In fact, Columbia residents were the first to pass decriminalization policies way back in 2004. Any first-time offenders in Columbia with under 35 g of cannabis flowers can only face a max fine of $250.

Missouri’s second-largest city—St. Louis—followed Columbia’s example when it passed decriminalization laws in 2013. St. Louis police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 g of cannabis flowers. Instead, these offenders will face a fine of up to $300.

It took Kansas City a bit longer to increase its decriminalization laws, but it’s now considered one of Missouri’s most lenient cities for pot smokers. In 2017, KC reduced its fine for first-time pot possession (at 35 g) to just $25. However, in 2020, Kansas City eliminated this first-time fine. Although this doesn’t mean marijuana is legal in Kansas City, it does suggest the City of Fountains isn’t too concerned with petty cannabis possession.

A few smaller cities that have reduced their cannabis possession fines include Maplewood and Webster Groves. Both of these cities only fine residents for first-time possession of 35 g of cannabis.

 

What Are The Penalties For Growing Pot In Missouri?

 

Although Missouri has been easing its stance on marijuana possession, the same can’t be said about at-home cultivation. Recreational users face serious felony charges if they’re caught growing any amount of cannabis at home. Anyone caught growing less than 35 g of recreational weed could pay a fine of $10,000 and serve up to four years in jail.

The only exception to this policy is patients on the MMJ program. Since the passage of Amendment 2, MMJ cardholders could legally grow up to six marijuana plants in their household. It’s also legal for state-registered caretakers to grow marijuana for their patients. MMJ cardholders must ensure all of their marijuana plants are far from public view.

 

Is CBD Hemp Legal In Missouri?

 

Interestingly, Missouri’s laws surrounding CBD hemp are more ambiguous than its recreational marijuana policies. Even after the 2018 US Farm Bill passed, it’s unclear whether Missouri allows residents to buy, sell, or use recreational CBD oil.

We do know, however, that Missouri allows doctors to prescribe CBD for epileptic patients. 2014’s HB 2238 created the MO Hemp Extract Registration Program (MHERP) to register patients with a doctor’s approval. Once someone has an MHERP-approved card, they can legally purchase up to 20 fl oz of hemp-derived CBD oil. All legal CBD products in Missouri must have a max of 5 percent CBD and ≤ 0.3 percent THC.

In 2018, Missouri further reduced its penalties on hemp flowers with HB 2034. Significantly, this new law differentiates legal hemp from illegal marijuana. As stated in the 2018 US Farm Bill, legal hemp plants must contain ≤ 0.3 percent THC content.

Unfortunately for CBD fans, HB 2034 doesn’t explicitly say whether recreational hemp products are OK. While hemp-derived CBD is federally legal, Missouri police have confiscated CBD goods from smoke shops as recently as 2018. Although these raids seem to have died down in recent years, there are still questions over which CBD products qualify under Missouri’s laws.

So, even if a store offers hemp-derived CBD that conforms to the 2018 US Farm Bill, it’s difficult to say whether it’s legal in Missouri. Until Jefferson City clears up its stance on CBD, hemp fans should be aware of this strange legal situation.

 

Can Missouri Farmers Grow CBD Hemp?

 

Currently, there’s less confusion surrounding hemp cultivation than CBD consumption in Missouri. In fact, the state now has an Industrial Hemp Program under the MO Department of Agriculture. Farmers interested in adding hemp to their crop cycle could send an application to the MODOA at any time.

Just keep in mind that the Missouri Industrial Hemp Program charges a $750 non-refundable application fee. Farmers will also be required to submit a background check and verify their hemp contains ≤ 0.3 percent THC.

Even though Missouri allows farmers to apply for hemp licenses, this doesn’t mean residents could grow CBD hemp at home. If the police catch you growing hemp on your premises, you could face similar penalties to marijuana cultivation.

 

Could Recreational Marijuana Be On Missouri’s 2022 Ballot?

 

As more states embrace legal weed, cannabis activists are hopeful Missouri will soon follow the “green trend.” Indeed, one grassroots coalition called Fair Access Missouri believes recreational marijuana could become a reality as soon as 2022.

In the summer of 2021, Fair Access Missouri sent four petitions for increased marijuana legalization to the attorney general’s office. Three of these proposals legalize adult-use recreational weed, while the fourth added new features to MO’s Medical Marijuana Registry.

The organization New Approach Missouri also announced it would soon submit its proposal for recreational weed. New Approach Missouri is most famous for adding the successful Amendment 2 to the 2018 ballot. This group also attempted to add recreational weed to 2020’s election, but it came up short of the required signatures.

If the attorney general approves any of these proposals, they will need to get 171,592 signatures before the 2022 election.

But even if these proposals fail to make it into the ballot, there seems to be support for recreational weed in Jefferson City. GOP State Representative Shamed Dogan has been the most vocal advocate for legalizing adult-use cannabis. In 2020, Dogan introduced a constitutional amendment that would have eliminated marijuana from the state’s list of illicit drugs. Although Rep. Dogan’s efforts have failed thus far, he seems determined to continue his “push for pot” at the start of 2022.

 

Where Could Missouri Residents Get Legal Weed?

 

The only way Missourians could legally buy weed is to apply for an MMJ card and visit an official dispensary. Since recreational marijuana is still illegal, there are no formally recognized recreational dispensaries in the state. Locals will have to wait for Missouri to legalize adult-use cannabis before legal dispensaries start opening up.

Arguably, the easiest way Missouri residents could purchase recreational cannabis products is to visit a CBD store. Despite the state’s wishy-washy stance on hemp, dozens of CBD vendors now offer hemp flowers, CBD oils, and vape cartridges throughout Missouri. Thanks to the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp-derived products are legal throughout the USA. For the moment, this may be the safest and easiest way for Missourians to get their hands on a cannabis-related product.

Driving in Missouri as a Cannabis Consumer – An Overview of Missouri’s DUI Laws

Missouri may be the home of Budweiser, but that doesn’t mean it takes a soft stance on DUIs. Drivers who fail to meet Missouri’s strict sobriety standards could easily land themselves in hot water. This is especially true for marijuana. While Missouri has introduced a medical marijuana program, it has a zero-tolerance policy on driving with THC in your system. Even medical card holders could face severe DUI penalties in the Show-Me State.

While most states follow similar DUI policies, there are specific penalties Missouri residents should understand. Having a firm grasp of Missouri’s DUI laws will help you understand the drastic risks of driving as a regular cannabis consumer.

 

What Qualifies As A DUI In Missouri?

 

When people refer to a DUI in Missouri, they’re typically talking about alcohol-induced crashes. No doubt, alcohol remains the predominant drug in Missouri’s DUI cases. However, that doesn’t mean all DUI offenses are related to a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Any intoxicating substance found in a drug test could lead to DUI charges and conviction.

This includes the detection of any product containing THC: flower, vapes, edibles, topicals and more. In fact, there’s no level of THC that’s permissible while driving in Missouri. Unlike the standard ≤ 0.08 percent BAC for drivers over 21, police could convict drivers with a DUI if they have any detectable THC in their bloodstream or urine.

Since THC metabolites could remain in a person’s system hours, or even days, after taking marijuana, drivers could fail DUI tests even if they don’t feel “high.” Indeed, the more a person takes marijuana, the greater the risk of failing a drug test in Missouri.

 

So, What are the Laws Surrounding a Cannabis DUI?

 

Most DUI stops begin with some sort of traffic violation like speeding or rolling through a stop sign. Once a driver is pulled over, the police officer may ask questions or notice behavior that leads to suspicion of driving under the influence.

Police officers could also call a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to the scene to perform tests to determine your sobriety. Physiological indicators of cannabis use include heightened blood pressure, trembling eyelids, pupil dilation, and bloodshot eyes. Many DREs also ask drivers to cross their eyes to see if they’ve been smoking marijuana. Police could potentially use all of the data from these tests against a DUI suspect.

Just remember that even if you’re on the state’s medical-marijuana program, you’ll face the same DUI penalties if police detect ANY THC in your bloodstream.

FYI: Missouri drivers have the right to call an attorney 20 minutes before taking any DUI-related tests. Plus, even if you submit tests to responding officers, you can request a second test from the following:

  • Physician
  • Technician
  • Chemist
  • Registered nurse

 

Can You Decline A Drug Test For Cannabis In Missouri?

 

Section 577.020 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri says that anyone who drives a vehicle has already consented to submit a chemical test to law enforcement. As long as police have a justifiable cause to pull you over—or you’re in line at a scheduled DUI checkpoint—you must submit to a chemical trial. This test is typically done on a breathalyzer machine, but it may include a blood sample, saliva swab, or urinalysis. Drivers who don’t comply with this test face a one-year revocation on their driver’s license. Remember, if you have questions about what to do during a traffic stop in Missouri, please contact a licensed attorney who can give you legal advice.

Unlike searching a residence, police don’t need a warrant to search your vehicle if they have a solid reason to assume you’ve been smoking pot. A few common factors that are permissible for probable cause include:

  • Traces of cannabis in your car.
  • The scent of marijuana.
  • Your answers to an officer’s questions.

 

What Happens After A First-Time Missouri DUI?

 

Determining the specific fines or jail time in a DUI case depends on many factors, including whether anyone was injured and how high your BAC was, and many other factors. However, 577.010 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes defines a standard first-time DUI offense as a class B misdemeanor. This penalty carries a max fine of $500, a 30-day license suspension, and a max jail time of six months. It’s also likely that your car will be towed and impounded, and you’ll probably have to miss work to attend multiple hearings. If you were convicted of a THC offense, you will also have to go through a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program. Every case is different, and even first-time offenders will benefit from expert legal advice.

 

What Happens After Multiple DUIs In Missouri?

 

Typically, a second DUI conviction in Missouri within five years of the previous DUI is a class A misdemeanor. In this case, you will have to stay in prison for at least ten days. At most, second-time DUI offenders will face one year in prison (with possible two-year probation) and $1,000 in fines. Missouri law also allows for a license suspension of up to five years.

The third time Missouri drivers are charged with a DUI, they will face felony charges—class D, to be specific. In this scenario, drivers may have to pay a fine of $5,000, lose their license for three years, and stay in jail for four years. Even if the jail sentence gets “suspended,” third-time DUI offenders must perform 60 days of community service.

 

Bottom Line: Don’t Drive High In Missouri

 

The Show-Me State has little leniency for DUI offenses, especially when they involve THC. Missourians who have any THC in their bloodstream will face severe and costly DUI penalties anywhere in the state. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Missouri’s MMJ program; this Midwestern State has a zero-tolerance policy for THC while driving. A first time DUI could cost up $8,000 including fines, fees and legal expenses. Everyone living in Missouri should take these laws seriously.

If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges is Missouri please click here to learn how reepher pays up to $15,000 in cannabis DUI expenses.