Missouri has some of the most strict drug possession laws in the United States. Unlike many states, more drug charges in Missouri are felonies than misdemeanors.
What makes a drug crime a felony in Missouri?
Felony drug offenses in Missouri
A charge for possession of any controlled substance is a class C felony in Missouri. The only drug charges that result in class A misdemeanor charges involve possession of marijuana in amounts of 35 grams or less. Additionally, other drug offenses, such as delivery, intent to deliver and manufacturing are also usually felony charges.
Penalties for felony drug offenses
Felony drug offenses are class A, B, C, D or E felonies depending on the specific charge, the drug involved and the amount. Possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana is a class D felony that carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Depending on the amounts involved and whether the purchaser was a minor and where the sale took place, the sale or distribution of drugs can lead to three years to life in prison and fines from $10,000 to double the profit made on the sale. Selling or distributing drugs near a recreational park, public housing or a school carries the most severe penalties.
Many first-time offenders may believe that they are safe if they get caught with a small number of drugs. However, in Missouri, that may not be the case. Educating young people and other potential first-time users about the potential for severe consequences is critical.