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Kansas City: NORML Chapter’s Decriminalization Effort Qualifies For City Ballot

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 5, 2016

    chapter_spotlightPetitioners seeking to decriminalize municipal penalties specific to the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, a representative from the Kansas City Clerk’s office confirmed today.

    The proposal, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, amends citywide penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine, punishable by a $25 fine. Similar municipal measures are currently in place in St. Louis and in Columbia, Missouri.

    Members of the city council have 60 days to either act on the measure or to place it before voters this spring in a special election.

    Under state law, the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. On January 1, new sentencing provisions will take effect reclassifying the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana as a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine but no jail.

    13 Responses to “Kansas City: NORML Chapter’s Decriminalization Effort Qualifies For City Ballot”

    1. Julian says:

      This is what NORML chapters are all about. This is what activism is all about. Just because a statewide ballot initiative gets shot down does not mean we give up and go home. Or even when we succeed, like the water protectors did in Standing Rock this weekend, does not mean the camp gets torn down and we all go home. Activism is a constant flowing and conscious entity, much like a flowing river, the act of bringing people together, even our enemies, and educating them as to how we all benefit from legalization is the key to success. The greatest challenge is in educating our law enforcement of how marijuana legalization can benefit the quality of their lives and even their city budgets. Standing Rock showed us that persistence, a few thousand veterans and a couple of good camera drones can turn the tides. Donating to pay for a few good lawyers doesnt hurt either!

    2. Mark Mitcham says:

      Thank you, Kansas City NORML, and Kansas City citizens, for that good news!

      Activists organize the initiatives, donors fund them, and good citizens vote on them, in order to make them a reality.

      That works well, except when a) a state does not allow for citizen initiatives; or b) elected politicians, representing the interests of Corporate Financial Capital, deliberately subvert the will of the voters.

      We’re about out of voter initiative options. If we are to make continuing progress, it will have to be via legislature. This will be more difficult than the voter initiatives, because legislatures also tend to represent the interests of Corporate America over American Citizens.

      As far as possible futures:
      I believe that pro-legalization Trump supporters and Republicans have been betrayed. Eventually they will have to accept that.

      Until that finally happens, they are merely propagandist trolls peddling false promises. But when that finally happens, those with any brains will be looking for new political representation.

      I think we need to be looking for a “People’s Party” comprised of libertarians, Greens, Progressives, and progressive Democrats, and disenfranchised Republicans.

      Third party? Maybe. The Democrats could take the lead, if they woke up to the threat Corporate America represents. But I’m talking about a powerful voter coalition, by any name. The same kind of solid American citizens that put together this successful signature drive in Kansas City!

    3. Anonymous says:

      Pro legalization Trump supporters is a contradiction in terms.
      Keep up the good fight, the next 4 years is going to be nothing like the last, a lot more setbacks, few (mainly moral) victories.
      But don’t give up, this too shall pass.

      • Matt says:

        I don’t know if Sessions will move on legalization, and Trump might order him to focus on violence in the cities and the immigration issue instead. In addition, now…this IS Trump’s first term, and ordering the AG and DEA to shut DOWN what is a HUGE capital market with California and the others will be seen as outdated and BACKWARDS, not as some moral crusade like Prohibition I was supposed to be about. We all know how that went and WHY it failed. Because it was completely pointless and, if anything, probably lead to MORE consumption of alcohol by people who are SICK AND TIRED of being harassed by police and the gov. who apparently thought it knew what is “best” for it’s citizen’s PRIVATE lives. Adult citizens. The painful thing for me was in college when we otherwise productive, open-minded, intelligent, creative marijuana users were raided. Sent to a court-ordered drug program with an outdated 80’s or 90’s video with some expert or someone talking about how marijuana is negative or something. Sigh….our whole world and time together as roommates ended because of that stupid law. A law AGAINST minorities associating with white women, against Mexicans and black people, against change, evolution, progress, and a better future. Old men with old ideas and outdated, WRONG ideas at that, ideas based in fear, bigotry, greed, and the desire to CONTROL. Because in their minds that is the ONLY way it has been and the way it is SUPPOSED to BE. “Young man…..” they chastise. With EVERY generation, comes change, new ideas, and progress that replaces the old, the outdated, often traditions that don’t seem to fit any longer in a chaotic, ever-changing world. I will give Mr. Sessions and Trump a chance, but I still fear the worst, more of the SAME OLD MEN, SAME OLD IDEAS. SAME POWER TO PUT SAID OLD AND OUTDATED IDEAS INTO PLACE AND KEEP THEM THERE BACKED UP BY COURTS, BOOTS, GUNS, AND THE CONTROL ATTITUDE.

        • Matt says:

          But, well said to all three who have commented thus far here. You gentleman (and ladies?) are dead-on.

          • Matt says:

            and YES, GREAT JOB Kansas City NORML! Real headway made, Kansas, even if it starts in the City, would be a GREAT and geographically significant addition to the legalization effort.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        True, many, if not most, Trump voters deliberately voted for racist fascism; and those folks can go fuck themselves. We don’t need them.

        That is why, in some ways, Trump’s position on marijuana is irrelevant — he fails to qualify to be fit for office on the most fundamental grounds of human decency. For that reason, I’m inclined to write off the entire lot of Trump voters as of no use to our cause, marijuana legalization.

        But knowing human nature, perhaps there were a couple who actually thought they were electing a populist, instead of a sociopath con artist.

        I don’t see how they could have missed the racism and sexism — it’s impossible.

        ?!#&% fuck — I know. I agree. It’s unforgivable. I won’t justify racism, I can’t. Hear me out…

        But maybe they thought he was just spouting bullshit. I don’t know. And that in no way justifies voting for a cracker-ass bigot. But if there were any Trump voters, who are now having buyers remorse, these people are free to shed their ignorance and join us, provided their eyes are actually open, and they no longer promote Trump’s fascist, white-supremacist agenda.

        We’ve all fucked up before. I’m just talking about the Trump voters (if any) who now realize just how bad they fucked up, and are wondering what to do. Dump Trump!

      • Julian says:

        Perhaps a contradiction in terms of office if not moral definition. I actually know a pro legalization Trump supporter… someone I respect as a highly skilled and affluent person… but he is on the fake news link and his IQ supressed by Fox news. Such a waste of talent for the forces of evil. These are times for NORML recruitment. There is a deeper complex in our national identity that not even marijuana can treat without people choosing to free their own minds from lies and hatred. Marijuana can help this nation reveal our true origins and identity but first we must choose the path of particiating to help those in need if we are ever to learn how to truly help ourselves. The truth shall be sought by the righteous to reveal the lies and tyrrany of evil men.

    4. Mark I. says:

      Great news for KCMO. Keep up the hard work and we will continue to vote them in.

    5. Matt says:

      I seriously hope we do not hear from the opposition if there is any saying the criminal penalities should REMAIN. If we do, just unbelievable ignorance. Such a progressive action here and they STILL might move against decrim. and eventually legalization. So backwards…..

    6. Beer Drinker says:

      Good for them. Oklahoma drafted a similar law directed to the Oklahoma congress or whomever it was drafted to demanding or petitioning that a marijuana offense sentence be reduced to non criminal in nature, but conservatives just scoff at stuff like that here because they get so much anti-drug support and are held up by so many county people, and I watched on TV the people who had the petition to introduce medical marijuana on the ballot in Oklahoma, the person they had to work with the directer they followed gave them a hard door opening to file where obviously it wasn’t welcomed by the people they were going to meet inside. Ruthless conservatives are.

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