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Missouri Drug Laws

As the laws that regulate controlled substances continue to evolve, it's difficult to keep track of the changes. But it's important to know the drug laws of your state because drug involvement can result in serious charges, such as drug possession, distribution, or trafficking.

Classification of Controlled Substances in Missouri

Missouri categorizes controlled substances into five "schedules." Schedule I substances are considered the most dangerous based on factors including a higher risk of abuse and addiction; Schedule V is the least dangerous of the controlled substances. The classification matters because it determines the severity of the penalties for the offenses.

Marijuana Laws in Missouri

Unlike some states, Missouri hasn't legalized marijuana use either recreationally or medically; possession and cultivation are both illegal. Although there's no medical marijuana program, the state does allow limited use of CBD (a compound in marijuana with medical properties, lacking the "high") for those with intractable epilepsy.

Distribution Laws in Missouri

In Missouri, it's unlawful for any person to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce a controlled substance (or to attempt to do so) and it's also unlawful to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce the drug.

Summary of Missouri Drug Laws

When conducting legal research, it's good to read the actual statute in its entirety. However, statutes can be difficult to read because of their length and complex language. That's why it helps to also read a plain English version of the text for better comprehension. See the chart below for a summary of Missouri's drug laws.


Missouri Revised Statutes:

  • Section 579.020 (delivery of a controlled substance)
  • Section 579.030 (distribution of a controlled substance in a protected location)
  • Section 579.040 (unlawful distribution/delivery or sale of drug paraphernalia)
  • Section 579.015 (possession of a controlled substance)

Drug Possession and Cultivation Penalties



Marijuana Possession:

  • Possession of 10 grams or less: Misdemeanor with no jail time and a $500 fine.
  • Second time offense: Jail for a year, $2,000 fine.
  • Possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana: 7 years in prison, $10,000 fine.

Marijuana Cultivation:

  • Growing up to 35 grams: Felony, punishable by incarceration for 4 years, $10,000 fine.
  • Growing more than 35 grams: Felony, punishable by incarceration for 3-10 years, $10,000 fine.

Possession of Other Drugs:

Possession of any other type besides marijuana (regardless of amount) is a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison, $10,000 fine.

Drug Distribution Penalties

Distribution is a class B felony (except for 5 grams or less of marijuana), punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years.

Distribution of a controlled substance within 2000 feet of a school is a class A felony (except for 5 grams or less of marijuana), punishable by life imprisonment or a sentence of up to 30 years.

Distribution or delivery of not more than 5 grams of marijuana is a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

Drug Court

Missouri's Drug Court Program:

  • The program may be ordered as a condition of probation and parole.
  • Participants require substance abuse treatment and are felony offenders.
  • Regular court appearance before the Drug Court Commissioner are required.
  • Treatment: includes testing and counseling.
  • Length of the program: minimum of 1 year, no longer than 2 years.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Missouri Drug Laws: Related Resources

Contact an Attorney about Missouri Drug Charges

Missouri's drug laws are some of the harshest in the country. If you're facing charges, then you'll want to take control your case. Contact a criminal law attorney who can evaluate the strength of the case and help mount a persuasive defense on your behalf.

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