ST. LOUIS • Gov. Jay Nixon's youngest son was cited for marijuana possession over the weekend in Columbia.
Police were dispatched to a loud party early Saturday morning at an apartment complex a few blocks from the University of Missouri campus.
Officers "found several people standing in the common hallway talking loudly and immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana," according to a summary from the Columbia police department.
A pipe with marijuana in it was in plain view on the coffee table of the apartment, according to department spokeswoman Latisha Stroer.
When Will Nixon saw police, he tried to "get rid" of the marijuana by throwing it on the ground, Stroer said.
Nixon, 21, was cited along with another University of Missouri student, Nickolas Morehead, also 21.
According to police, Morehead told the officers, as they were writing the citations, that Nixon was the governor's son.
On Monday, Gov. Nixon issued a statement calling the incident "a private matter that will be handled through the municipal process."
"My son is a fine young man, and we will be working through this issue as a family," Gov. Nixon stated.
Columbia has among the most lax marijuana laws in the state. Under city code, police are largely prohibited from taking into custody individuals caught with small amounts of pot.
Instead, police are instructed to issue a citation at the scene, as was done for Will Nixon.
The maximum fine for such an offense is $250, although the city ordinance states there should "be a strong presumption" that a suspended imposition of sentence along with drug counseling or community service is the proper punishment.
Will Nixon is the younger of the governor's two sons. According to Mizzou's online directory, he is a junior studying political science.
He was also on the school's golf team, but does not appear on the current roster.