WEBB CITY, Mo. — Following the passing of Amendment 3 in the fall, many cities across the state of Missouri are taking a closer look at ordinances surrounding the use of marijuana.

Such is the case in Webb City.

“It’s kind of hard to write a citation by an officer for a constitutional amendment, even though it was in the constitutional amendment, it’s illegal to use in a public place. There was no penalty, so we had to create an ordinance to make it a penalty,” said Carl Francis, City Administrator, Webb City.

Many area cities are working to navigate Amendment 3 into their ordinances.

In Webb City, council members quickly became concerned with the use of marijuana in public spaces – as calls to the police department started not long after the amendment passed.

“The key issue the public consumption, public use of marijuana, is what we needed to get so that our officers could at least have something to enforce on city ordinance. We have received complaints of people smoking marijuana in public places,” said Francis.

Places like sidewalks, public parks, and businesses.

Francis says those who have been suspected of those actions thought it was perfectly legal.

“Tonight’s actions, the council was just interested in making sure people didn’t use marijuana or smoke marijuana in an area where there’s parks, children, some of the second-hand smoke, you know, those kinds of issues, I think, they were interested in tonight,” said Francis.

So far, Webb City doesn’t have any dispensaries in its city limits, as many surrounding cities do.

City Council members would like to keep it that way as they plan to leave it up to the voters.

“The council has made it very public that they plan in the November 2024 Presidential Election, as the amendment dictates, to put the ban on the ballot. The council has made it very clear that they plan on placing the ballot question of banning dispensaries inside the city limits of Webb City,” said Francis.

City Council members approved the first reading of the ordinance on Monday night.

The second and final reading will take place at the next meeting on April 10th.