It is less than a three-hour drive north of Springfield to Missouri Valley College. A student at the small, private school was recently arrested on drug charges after officials reportedly found him in possession of 231.5 grams (a little more than 8 ounces or a half-pound of marijuana).

According to a news report, another Missouri Valley College student told officials that he had purchased weed from the defendant. Officials then went to the student’s dorm room and asked the defendant if he had any marijuana there.

The student reportedly handed over eight baggies of weed and a digital scale and was then arrested and charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance of Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabinoid (35 Grams or less), a Class C felony.

The penalties for a Class C felony conviction are substantial: 3 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

As you undoubtedly know, Missouri has a medical marijuana law now, with dispensaries in Springfield and across the state due to open this spring. But with the sudden upending of life by the coronavirus, those plans are, like everything else, uncertain and unclear now.

Earlier this year, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services approved 192 medical marijuana dispensary licenses, with two dozen approved in each of the state’s congressional districts. Eleven dispensary licenses were granted here in Springfield.

However, the maximum amount someone can possess with a medical marijuana card is four ounces of dried, unprocessed weed or its equivalent.

If you get a patient cultivation card, you can also grow the following:

  • 6 flowering plants
  • 6 male non-flowering plants
  • 6 cloned plants (grown from clippings)

That is a total of 18 plants per patient cultivation card.

It should be noted that until dispensaries open, there’s no legal way to purchase marijuana in Missouri.

Those charged with drug distribution, drug manufacturing or drug possession should contact a Springfield defense attorney experienced in protecting freedom and rights.