At 9:00 AM on Thursday, January 17th, the Health and Human Services Committee of the Saint Louis Board of Aldermen will hold an initial hearing on Alderman Shane Cohn's proposed reform to the city's marijuana laws. The hearing will occur at City Hall (1200 Market Street) in the Kennedy Hearing Room and is open to the public. The more supporters that testify or even just attend the meeting, the more the committee members will understand that the people of Saint Louis want reform.
Here are some suggested talking points if you would like to testify:
1) Saint Louis should emulate the reforms Columbia voters passed in 2004, which prevents police from arresting people simply for possession of small amounts of marijuana and protects medical marijuana patients' access to their medicine.
2) Law enforcement resources would be much better spent protecting Saint Louisans from violence and property crimes instead of arresting peaceful people for possessing cannabis.
3) People who possess cannabis should not be punished with criminal records that can haunt them the rest of their lives.
If you attend -- especially if you plan to testify -- please dress nicely. There is no need for a suit, but slacks and a dress shirt would be helpful. If you live in the city of Saint Louis but cannot attend, please call and email your alderman. You can go here to find the name and contact information of your alderman:
As always, please be respectful in your communications with elected officials. They are much more likely to listen to people who are friendly and reasonable than to people who are mean and combative.