A Missouri state lawmaker is apologizing after he was arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, a Democrat from Kansas City, was arrested Sunday in Boone County. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says he was stopped for failing to respond to a charge in Moniteau County of driving with an expired license tag and without insurance.
During the stop, the patrol says LaFaver was cited for possessing a marijuana pipe and up to 1.2 ounces of marijuana. Moniteau County is just west of Jefferson City.
The 33-year-old LaFaver issued a statement saying he made "a serious mistake" and will accept the consequences. He stressed he was not under the influence while he was driving but apologized to his family and constituents.
"I'm very sorry to have made some choices that have embarrassed my family and disappointed my supporters," he said in an email to KCTV5's Bonyen Lee. "I am prepared to face whatever consequences I must face, and then move on from there."
LaFaver was elected to his first two-year term in November 2012.
LaFever recently introduced a bill that would have given more leniency to marijuana users in possession of the drug. It's unclear how his arrest will affect his push for that bill.
"At this time, I don't think it is appropriate for me to use this incident as a political platform for pushing or opposing any policy change," he said.
LaFever has resigned from leading the committee that works to elect Democrats to the Missouri House.
"Representative LaFever's actions were unfortunate, and he will face consequences as a result," House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, a Democrat from St. Louis, said. "One of those consequences is that he has resigned as chairman of the House Democratic Victory Committee, and I accepted his resignation."
LaFever said Monday that he will not resign his House seat. Constituents that KCTV5 interviewed shrugged off his arrest and said they didn't expect him to resign.
The Missouri Republican Party called on LaFever to resign his seat.
"Missouri Republicans are calling on Democrat Rep. LaFaver to walk the walk and take genuine responsibility by resigning," GOP Party spokesman Matt Wills said in a statement. "LaFaver has broken trust with the people by behaving with direct and open disrespect for the law and courts."
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