Lancerenok / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita City Council members gave first approval to an ordinance lowering the maximum penalty for marijuana possession. The change would bring the city into compliance with a 2016 state law.

Under the amended ordinance, the penalty for first-time marijuana possession is lowered from a Class A to a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction could carry a fine of $1,000 and six months in jail, down from $2500 and a year in jail. A lab fee could also be assessed.

Lancerenok / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers are considering legalizing medical marijuana for certain medical conditions.

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee heard the bill Monday. If it passes, Kansas would join 28 other states that have some type of medical marijuana program.

Supporters say medical marijuana could help patients who have exhausted available medicine options.

Melissa Ragsdale, whose 7-year-old son suffers from seizures, told the committee industrial hemp cannabidiol helped her son but it only stops certain seizures and that broader access could help.

James Dobson / Garden City Telegram

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by a Garden City, Kansas, mother who lost custody of her son over her use of cannabis oil in an incident that drew national attention.

In a brief four-page order Tuesday, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten dismissed the action, finding that Shona Banda had failed to respond to the defendants’ “prima facie valid arguments.”

Rusty Blazenhoff / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Attorney General says marijuana from Colorado is "permeating" every part of Kansas.

Derek Schmidt says Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana has led to high-grade marijuana from that state largely replacing lower grade marijuana from Mexico and home-grown marijuana in Kansas.

James Dobson / Garden City Telegram

The Garden City, Kansas, mother who lost custody of her 11-year-old son over her use of cannabis oil says she’s looking to vindicate her and other people’s rights.

Shona Banda sued state officials late last week, asking the court to restore custody of her son, declare she has a “fundamental right” to use cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s disease, and award her damages.

“I want to hold these people accountable so this doesn’t happen to people any longer," Banda said, speaking from her Garden City home.


The Kansas legislature’s turnaround deadline was last week. That means many bills are likely dead for the session, including one to legalize marijuana oil for treating seizures.

The oil in question doesn’t have enough THC to get people high, but the politics of marijuana make the bill a tough sell in an election year.

Law enforcement and some medical groups think the bill goes too far. Medical marijuana advocates don’t think it goes far enough.

That leaves a couple of Kansas moms whose kids have persistent seizure disorders caught in the middle.

Kathleen Ann, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would lessen penalties for first and second-time marijuana possession.

The vote Wednesday was 38-1.

The measure would reduce the punishment for first-time misdemeanor possession to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, rather than the current year in jail and $2,500 fine. A second possession conviction would no longer be a felony, so an offender wouldn't be sent to prison.

The measure goes next to the House, which passed a similar proposal last year.


A Kansas Senate committee has approved a bill that would lessen penalties for marijuana possession, sending it to the full Senate for consideration. While working on the bill, the committee removed a section that would have allowed the medical use of hemp oil.

Some lawmakers raised concerns because hemp oil hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA. Republican Senator Molly Baumgardner says even if it’s legal, a hospital told her they won’t use it.

“Their physicians will not prescribe because it has not gone through the rigorous scientific clinical trials,” Baumgardner says.

TMartin_33 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court has struck down a Wichita ordinance allowing lessened penalties for marijuana possession.

The ballot initiative, which was approved in April 2015 by 54 percent of voters, was ruled “null and void” because the court said it was not filed correctly with the Wichita city clerk.

Stephen Koranda

Parents of children with seizure disorders asked Kansas lawmakers Wednesday to legalize the use of medical hemp oil.

A bill that's before a Senate committee would allow medical use of the oil, which doesn’t induce a chemical high. Kiley Klug came to the Statehouse with her son Owen, who she says suffers up to 20 seizures a day. She says hemp oil could help treat the seizures without the side effects of some other medications.