For Immediate Release
Council to Consider Four Amendments to Marijuana Ordinance
Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens signed Council Bill 2012-227 into law Sept. 5, following an Aug. 27 vote by City Council to adopt the ordinance, which deals with marijuana possession. City Council will take public comment on Monday, Sept. 10 on four proposed amendments and is expected to vote on them at the Sept. 24 meeting.
Council Bill 2012-227 was brought forward by initiative petition to lessen the penalties for possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana. It passed 7-2. Council members, however, indicated they planned to amend or repeal it due to legal issues with the expungement and oversight committee provisions.
Here's how the proposed amendments stack up:
- Four Council members - Jerry Compton, Jan Fisk, Jeff Seifried and John Rush – are sponsoring a total repeal.
- Mayor Bob Stephens is sponsoring an amendment that removes two provisions City Attorney Dan Wichmer has determined are clearly illegal: a requirement that City Council appoint a citizen oversight committee and expungement. This amendment also suggests increasing the fine for such possession from $150 to $450.
- Mayor Stephens is also sponsoring an amendment that eliminates the two clearly illegal provisions, but leaves the fine at $150.
- Councilman Doug Burlison, who has supported the initiative since its inception, offers an amendment that eliminates the oversight committee requirement. He resists removing an expungement provision until an opinion from the attorney general's office is available.
For more information, contact: Cora Scott, City of Springfield Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352.