Francis Slay On Pot Prosecution: "I'm Not For Legalizing Marijuana. It Sends A Bad Message."

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Francis Slay, the mayor of St. Louis, is opposed to legalizing marijuana, as two states did in the last election.

Not that anyone is asking him.

In response to a question from Daily RFT about the proposal at the Board of Aldermen to reduce the punishment for possession of small amounts of pot, Slay says he's against legalization.

But does he support reforms in the city?

"First of all, I'm not for legalizing marijuana," Slay tells us. "It sends a bad message to...young people and to others."

After Slay spoke at a reelection fundraiser with Muslim community leaders over the weekend, we asked him for his take on Alderman Shane Cohn's proposal to decriminalize" marijuana -- an initiative to move minor cases from the Circuit Attorney's Office to the lower municipal system of the City Counselor's Office, where the consequences are less severe.

Sisters for Slay Francis Slay 1.jpg
Slay Campaign
Mayor Slay at a recent fundraiser.

The overall intent of the proposal is to more efficiently use government resources and to avoid unnecessarily harsh prosecution of minor marijuana offenses -- while maintaining strict punishments for specific circumstances, like when suspects have prior felony convictions.

But when we first asked the mayor about this, his response was about his opposition to overall legalization -- which is not something Cohn is pushing and would have to happen at the state level (and even then, the federal government maintains that recreational pot is illegal).

About the Board of Aldermen proposal, he says, "I do think the objective is one that is worth exploring and that is to try to get less violent people out of jail and put more violent people [in jail]," he says. "I do think it's important...that we make sure that we put away violent offenders and if they're taking up space that violent offenders should be taking up, I do think that there is...some point to looking at the issue and considering it."

Cohn has been working with law enforcement officials to fine tune the details of the bill -- and while Slay didn't give it a full-on endorsement, he maintained that he is open to the debate.

"I know that discussion is gonna keep going. I know there are some people at the table that are coming up with ideas about how to make the legislation better and I'm happy to here form them as well," he says.

Continue for more of our interview with Mayor Francis Slay and for the latest draft of the Board of Aldermen bill.


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60 comments
Jason Brock
Jason Brock

Slay can go sit & spin. Never liked him.

Susan Wolters
Susan Wolters

Sends a bad message? Is he kidding? I think drinking and bars send "a bad message", not to mention the fact they actually cause death, accidents, and years of family misery, but THAT is legal, and everyone thinks it's OK.

KITTY
KITTY

READ THIS MR. MAYOR..TAKEN TODAY FROM KTVI POLL. 60% STRONGLY OR SOMEWHAT SUPPORT LEGALIZATION!!!!

What do you think?Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol?44%16%4%30%6%

Mary9
Mary9

What a bunch of BS!!! I think they should legalize it and let them reap the rewards of leagalizing it cause then they can tax it and make $$$$$! Nobody who smokes pot ever killed, maime, ran over, robbed, etc. anyone. It is just a shame that narrow minded individuals are in charge of this city, state and country. They are fools, all of them!!!!

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

SLAY does not care to bring good jobs to misery he wants us to sling slop in some ballpark village owned by Anhueser

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

The marijuana industry in california is booming and it is legal medically lots of new job oppurtunities and I just purchased hemp shoes here in misery

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

the big names in this city dont either its there way of bullying people and locking them up for no reason

Demond Eiland
Demond Eiland

Alcohol is not your friend!!!! This Kevin guy sounds like he might have had a couple drinks already!!!

Matthew Sawicki
Matthew Sawicki

if it was legal there would be no drug trade for marijuana

Justin Curia
Justin Curia

ha @kevin, you ever think your argument above solidifies exactly why we need legalization? and have you ever thought about all the alcohol-related deaths that occur every day? it would probably affect the way you drink.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Hey Matthew you ever think about all the deaths involved in the drug trade? It would probably effect the way you smoke.

Krista Akers
Krista Akers

It should be legalized. Controlled, not outlawed.

Matthew Sawicki
Matthew Sawicki

hey Kevin, you ever been arrested for smoking a plant? it probably would affect how you vote.

Daniel Deadytime
Daniel Deadytime

Sent to the Reps who penned the new bill. Mr. Ellinger, I am writing with deep and final concern. I have read House Bill 512 and have some worry. We have recently seen a great number of states finally embracing Cannabis as a safe and non-toxic recreational drug (much, much safer than Alcohol and tobacco). In fact, it is currently the third most used drug in the U.S. (behind those other two that are responsible for millions of deaths.) I am concerned because when I read your bill, allowing for lesser penalty for possession of Cannabis, all I am seeing is that IT IS STILL A CRIME. It isn't for everyone, but it shouldn't be a crime. Missouri is missing out on millions of dollars in taxable revenue over the unjust prohibition of a plant over half of Americans think should be legal. This is a terrible move in the war on prohibition. I am an 8yr Navy veteran who served my country with pride and honor only to be told that what I enjoy and is safe is illegal. this is wrong. I urge you to back legislation that is on the right track towards keeping good, honest Missourians out of the prison system. Thank you for your time and I hope you will see past this and find yourself on the right team. Prohibition has NEVER worked. 14,000,000 Americans became criminals last month alone because of poorly-directed legislation such as this. Respectfully, Daniel A. Rhea Jones Gardner

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

The fact that someone will actually make their political decisions on wether or not a candidate supports the legalization of Pot is exactly why it shouldn't be legal Mr Ford

Justin Curia
Justin Curia

what a wussy. just another moderate, out-of-touch MO democrat.

Chuck Napier
Chuck Napier

and I always liked him , thought he was a progressive minded person. guess I was wrong. he must be at least for decriminalization and for use medically...come on Mayor say you are.

Matthew Sawicki
Matthew Sawicki

Eva "infact" has no proof. just like all the other naysayers.

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

Well crap...now I have to take his campaign sign off my lawn. Mr. Reed, where do you stand ? If you support it, I will replace Slay's sign with yours.

Lois Giles
Lois Giles

Natives have been using this plant before, during and after their slaughter. its a damn plant.....THAT SAVES LIVES. not just for "getting high" people reallllllllly need to educate themselves, have a child die from the poisonous radiation. and chemo,and of course the pharmecutical companies do not want an all natural plant to do what THEY themselves cant! I implore the nay-sayers to stop showing ignornace and do some exstensive research! Then again, Lemmings dont do that

Eva Hawkins
Eva Hawkins

Rick... There ARE infact many accidents where cannibis is involved.

handsomejimmy
handsomejimmy

Was leaning towards voting for Slay until this. No way in hell that I vote for this guy now.

cantiloper
cantiloper

Kitty, the anti-pot people are hoping attitudes will change.  All they need is some way to get $500 to $900 million a year to put out the same social engineering thrust that the antismoking folks have enjoyed for the last 15 years.   At the moment they don't have that sort of funding, but they've still got historical momentum and attitudes behind them.  Be careful though: once they start grabbing tax money from local legalizations their power will grow and they'll use the same tried-and-true brainwashing techniques pioneered by the Antismokers.  


Read and think about the varieties of people and motivations that has made up the antismoking movement at:  http://www.sott.net/article/128768-Recognising+Anti-Smoking+Types  and think about how some of the same "types" apply to those opposing marijuana legalization.   The people pushing this kind of stuff need to be cut off at the base.... not just one hydra-head at a time: they'll simply keep growing new ones.


- MJM

PJ Mitchell Rulo
PJ Mitchell Rulo

I think it should be legal! it's naturally grown.we are pointing fingers at so many people..point your finger at the lord and judge his work.The good lord placed it on this earth..right!? The herb's in our cabinets should be illegal then too if everyone is gonna fuss over this herb. Liquor,man made drugs, and tobbaco with chemicals added ARE the problem here!!

Brewneaux Welldone
Brewneaux Welldone

Yes Wayne because no one comes to work high 'cause it's illegal.

Capone Stl
Capone Stl

Just need to remove him from office. Seems the next course of action. I bet there are a lot of people that do not approve of several things he has done to this city.....

KITTY
KITTY

Get with the program, Francis.  More Missourians favor decriminalizing weed than oppose it. Follow the example of Columbia, MO. They have an excellent program in place. Look at KTVI's website. They regularly have a poll about it. The majority favors it. The problem will never go away. I pray the Board of Alderman passes the proposed legislation

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

that's ok, I don't support him!

Rick Schaper
Rick Schaper

It was only the Drug companies and the Government that wanted Cannabis called a "Drug" and outlawing it. Get with he times peeps! No deaths or accidents ever involved with cannibis, just with booze and drugs. all the government officials are just scared to make a move because of their image, everyone knows it should be taxable, why should dealers make the tax free income?

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

^ totally great reasoning for putting children in jail. what was i thinking.

Brian Blood
Brian Blood

Cannabis is not a drug, its an Herb. Dan, that is a ridiculous statement.

Daniel Benedict
Daniel Benedict

No. First it'll be pot, then another drug. No thanks.

Shire Justin
Shire Justin

All the violent crime sends a bad message.

James Wright
James Wright

AB is in his pocket. What message does it send? drunks are better than smokers?

Joey Marie
Joey Marie

I'd like the Mayor to spend an afternoon with my dad who suffers from MS. Nothing over the counter can relieve his pain. Come on over Mayor, we'll show you what it means to suffer because of the government!

Matt Grayson
Matt Grayson

What a dummy. Move to California. We do.

nasheedslay
nasheedslay

@Jason Brock me neither he's so full of it that's why I'm voting him out the office....I'm going for Lewis Reed this time.

nasheedslay
nasheedslay

@Susan Wolters Preach it!!!!! Just politics as usual! That's why he has to GO! If he make cigarettes (which hurt others with 2nd hand smoke) and alcohol/bars then he'll have room to talk! I can't wait to March 5th to vote for Lewis Reed. 

nasheedslay
nasheedslay

@KITTY Slay is so out of touch with the people much less reality....SLAY MUST GO!!!!!

nasheedslay
nasheedslay

@Justin Curia SLAY MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

rockymissouri1
rockymissouri1

@cantiloper The anti folks just don't realize how many people are IN FAVOR....of a healing herb...!!

KITTY
KITTY

@cantiloper  Attitudes are changing to PRO legalization. Look at the stats and polls all over the country. The band wagon is rolling and the anit-pot people are not gonna stop it.  It will happen, it's a matter of time. Once everyone sees the money CO &WA rake in from taxes on weed, The tide will turn in our favor.

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