The Webster Groves City Council on March 17 approved revising city laws to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

City Attorney Neil Bruntrager said the legislation “is not legalization of marijuana possession — but it makes possession no longer a criminal act and no jail time will be involved.”

Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis have approved similar legislation, which calls for those found possessing 35 grams or less of marijuana to be cited for a city ordinance violation only and fined between $50 and $100.

Discretion will remain with police, who can seek prosecution and apply for warrants for crimes under state charges if, for instance, someone found with marijuana has more than 35 grams, or has been found guilty of a felony within the last 10 years, or someone has marijuana packaged in a manner that suggests it is being sold.

Bruntrager said other area cities are effectively decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, to the extent of not prosecuting beyond the level of an infraction.