12:38 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Bills Easing Restrictions On Marijuana Stalls In KS Legislature

Credit Rusty Blazenhoff / Flickr

Bills easing the state's restrictions on marijuana are moving deeper into the Kansas Legislature, but they're now facing an uncertain future.

The Kansas House decided to delay action on two marijuana bills in late February.

One would decrease penalties for an offender's first two possession convictions.

The other allows some seizure patients to receive treatments from marijuana-based medicines.

Representative John Rubin of Shawnee sponsored the bill on marijuana sentencing.

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4:04 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

KS Attorney General Derek Schmidt Issues Opinion On Wichita Marijuana Initiative

Credit MendezEnrique, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued an opinion challenging the validity of Wichita's proposed marijuana initiative. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

The 13-page document from Schmidt says the proposed ordinance, which would lower penalties for adults in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, conflicts with state statutes. If a public vote to adopt the change were to take place on Election Day, Schmidt wrote that it would “have no legal force or effect.”

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2:02 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Kansas House Delays Vote On Bill Easing Marijuana Penalties

Credit Lancerenok / Flickr--Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers are delaying action on a bill that would reduce sentences for the first two marijuana possession offenses.

The House chose to return the measure to a panel for further discussion on Thursday, rather than vote on it or discard it.

Most bills had to be passed by their chamber of origin by today or be tabled for the remainder of the session.

The bill would eliminate the possibility that an offender would face prison time until their third marijuana conviction unless they had serious prior convictions.

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5:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Community Discusses The Pros And Cons Of Marijuana Decriminalization In Forum

Esau Freeman uses oregano in a demonstration for lowered marijuana penalties.
Credit Abigail Wilson

A forum was held at the Central Library to discuss the pros ands cons of decriminalizing marijuana in Wichita. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports…

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter spoke at the forum and identified marijuana as a gateway drug with long-term effects on the brain, but said he agreed with the lesser penalties suggested in the initiative.

“I personally think that the idea is sound when it comes to fines and people going to jail for it for first-time offenses,” Easter said. “My only issue is, 'Is this the first step to legalization of marijuana?'”

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4:00 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Wichita Voters To Decide Marijuana Decriminalization Issue

Alexodus, flickr Creative Commons

A proposal to reduce penalties for marijuana possession will be on the ballot for Wichita in the April election.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

The ordinance that the City Council considered Tuesday would make marijuana possession a criminal infraction with a $50 fine for adults charged with a first-time offense.

Under current city and state laws, that crime carries a penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The Marijuana Reform Initiative submitted the petition with enough valid signature to bring the issue before City Council.

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1:16 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally At Kansas Statehouse

Credit Lancerenok / Flickr--Creative Commons

Supporters of medical marijuana in Kansas are joining two Democratic state lawmakers at a Statehouse rally in favor of the Cannabis Compassionate Care Act.

Representative Gail Finney and Senator David Haley filed medical marijuana bills prior to the start of this year's legislative session.

In addition to today's rally, several medical cannabis groups also will be lobbying state lawmakers on behalf of patients and caregivers.

The Topeka Capitol Journal reports the rally sponsored by Bleeding Kansas and Kansas for Change. 

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11:21 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Kansas Mulling Over Lawsuit Against Colorado's Legal Pot

Credit Lancerenok / Flickr--Creative Commons

Kansas hasn't decided whether to join a lawsuit filed by other states against Colorado over its legalization of marijuana.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Rapp said Friday that Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has been considering legal action against Colorado for months.

However, Rapp says Schmidt's office is still weighing its options.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to declare Colorado's legalization of marijuana unconstitutional. They argue it's a public safety issue.

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11:44 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Advocates Start A Second Petition Drive To Reduce Punishment For Marijuana Possession

A group of Wichita residents is trying a second petition drive this October. They want to reduce the punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana and to get the issue on April election ballot.

The first petition to get the issue on the ballot for this fall's elections was less than 40 signatures short of the number required.

Esau Freeman, president of Kansans for Change, says supporters will start collecting signatures again Oct. 1, with a goal of getting the issue on the April ballot.

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Crime and Courts
9:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Kansas Group Uses Billboard To Campaign for Legal Marijuana

A Kansas group is planning to use a billboard campaign to push for legalizing marijuana in the state.

Fire It Up Kansas says the ad on a digital billboard near the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane is the first it plans to put up across the state in coming weeks.

The ad asks the Legislature to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana.

The group's co-founder, Mike Golden, says marijuana is now in a black market with no regulation. He says putting it in a legal market takes away the criminal element.

Crime and Courts
6:05 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Court: Legally Obtained Pot Still Illegal In Kansas

People who possess legally obtained marijuana in Kansas can still be prosecuted in the state.
Credit Lancerenok / Flickr--Creative Commons

The Kansas Court of Appeals says marijuana obtained legally in another state is still illegal in Kansas.

The ruling comes in the case of a Colorado man who was stopped in Kansas with medical marijuana he was legally prescribed in his home state. A Kansas judge acquitted the man of a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing marijuana. The state appealed the acquittal.

That lead to Friday's ruling that Kansas has the right to enforce its own drug laws even when marijuana was obtained legally elsewhere.

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