Lewis Diuguid

Laws on marijuana use in Kansas likely to relax this year

A ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle. Marijuana bills are making their way through the Kansas Legislature, and Wichita voters on April 7 will be asked whether penalties for first-time marijuana users should be reduced to a $50 fine.
A ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle. Marijuana bills are making their way through the Kansas Legislature, and Wichita voters on April 7 will be asked whether penalties for first-time marijuana users should be reduced to a $50 fine. The Associated Press

Marijuana is destined to keep making headlines this year in Kansas.

The Sunflower State obviously is feeling pressure from Colorado, which with Washington state legalized pot for recreational use in 2012. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., are the latest to legalize recreational marijuana use with all of the accompanying new taxes on the pot that’s sold.

Wichita in the April 7 election will ask voters whether to reduce first-time marijuana penalties to a $50 fine, The Associated Press reports. Gone are the days of “Reefer Madness” and the hysteria that created.

Some bills in the Kansas Legislature also would reduce penalties for an offender’s first two marijuana possession convictions. Under the current law, a second marijuana possession charge is a felony carrying prison time of up to 42 months.

In addition, a medical marijuana bill is advancing in the Kansas Legislature, enabling some seizure patients to use cannabis oil as a treatment. If it passes, Kansas would join 23 states, allowing medical marijuana use.

Missouri currently isn’t one of them, although efforts are underway to change that, too.

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