Medical marijuana patients celebrate 4/20 as law enforcement increases patrols

JOPLIN, Mo. – What used to serve as a day of rebellion has become a day for celebration in Missouri.

“I think this is great. This is huge for Missouri and for people who need it,” says Bobby Brigance, a Joplin resident and medical marijuana patient.

Dispensaries are celebrating the day by offering discounts on merchandise and cannabis product. Flora Farms in Neosho was filled with patients celebrating the fact that they can purchase marijuana legally in the state. At the dispensary, flower could be had for $4.20 per gram.

In Joplin, Shango dispensary opened at 2401 E. 32nd St., thinking that the holiday would be the perfect time for their grand opening. The dispensary currently has flower, pre-rolls, carts, and THC gummies.

“It’s kind of an industry holiday, right? So it is great to have that time to open on,” says Matt Warne with Shango Dispensary.

Missouri Made Marijuana has been open for around a month, but decided to hold off on having their grand opening until the holiday.

“It’s just been something that the cannabis culture has adopted, and we really run with it,” says Peter Devore, General Manager of Missouri Made Marijuana. “We really inherit the culture and just, 4/20 is 4/20. It’s time to get medicated.”

But the day has also gotten more attention in the mainstream. Specifically among law enforcement and traffic safety advocacy groups.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is currently running a drug impaired driving enforcement campaign, reminding cannabis users that driving under the influence is illegal. According to the coalition, preliminary data for 2020 indicates 94 people were killed and 181 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one drug-impaired driver.  For that reason, law enforcement is increasing patrols across the state to catch drug-impaired drivers.

The Joplin Police Department isn’t increasing patrols, but they are keeping a close eye out for impaired drivers.

“Our number of DUI arrests in the last several years have increased. And so, we’re seeing that uptick,” says Captain William Davis with the Joplin Police Department. “So we’re just asking the public to make smart decisions and be safe.”