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.

Rusty Blazenhoff / Flickr

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has launched a statewide project to collect information about how marijuana acquired in Colorado is entering and affecting Kansas.

Schmidt says that since Colorado’s widely publicized decision to legalize acquisition and possession of small amounts of marijuana, Kansas law enforcement agencies have consistently had problems in Kansas involving marijuana acquired in Colorado.

Katheirne Hitt, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday for and against a Wichita ordinance that allows lessened penalties for marijuana possession. The justices had pointed questions for both sides.

The Wichita ordinance allows a $50 fine and no jail time for first-time possession charges. Under state law, someone could face up to a year in jail and up to a $2500 fine for the same crime.

T_martin 33, flickr Creative Commons

An ordinance in Wichita that lowers penalties for marijuana possession is headed before the Kansas Supreme Court Thursday.

Tmartin_33, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas's highest court is considering the legality of Wichita's marijuana ordinance next week.

Oral arguments are set for next Thursday in the legal challenge brought by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. At issue is the state's effort to overturn a voter-approved ordinance in Wichita lessening criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Wichita voters approved the measure in April.

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City medical marijuana activist is making national news. Shona Banda's home was raided and her son was placed in protective custody—at least in part due to something the boy said during an anti-drug presentation at school. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City woman whose home was raided March 24 after her son took issue with an anti-marijuana presentation at school turned herself in yesterday at the Finney County Law Enforcement Center. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson was there.