Kansas: Wichita Voters Approve Municipal Initiative Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 8, 2015

    Kansas: Wichita Voters Approve Municipal Initiative Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties - See more at: http://blog.norml.org/2015/04/08/kansas-wichita-voters-approve-municipal-initiative-reducing-marijuana-possession-penalties/#sthash.GXSJnz56.dpufVoters in Wichita Kansas approved a municipal measure yesterday that seeks to reduce first-time marijuana possession penalties within the city.

    Fifty four percent of local voters approved the initiative, which reduces penalties for first-time marijuana possession offenses (up to one ounce) to a civil infraction punishable by a $50.00 fine. Under state law, marijuana possession is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

    Despite majority support for the measure, state Attorney General Derek Schmidt has called the language unlawful and has threatened to sue the city if the provision goes into effect. The city is seeking a declaratory judgment from the courts in regard to whether they can move forward with enacting the new, voter-approved law.

    25 responses to “Kansas: Wichita Voters Approve Municipal Initiative Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties”

    1. Steven says:

      Don’t you just absolutely love when the people’s vote only matters if its in accordance with the, in this case, the Attorney General? Voters say, ” we want this.”
      He responds by saying, “No, and your vote doesn’t matter and is useless.”

    2. Odin says:

      Hah. That AG will learn his lesson come election time like the (politically) late John McCain did.

    3. Julian says:

      Decrim in the heart of the beast? Yeah sure Derek, go ahead and sue. Let’s see how the State of Kansas stands up for State’s rights while they quash the the popular voting will of their most populated city.

    4. Ruben J. Hernandez says:

      Cannabis has antioxidants and neuroprotectants and alcohol is brain destroying poison.

      Legalize Cannabis Freedom

    5. Hemppopotimus says:

      Just a perfect example of how prohibitionists will throw temper tantrums like babies when they don’t get what they want.

      Mr. Schmidt it’s time to look for a new revenue stream. The “Incarcerate all who celebrate cannabis” plan is OVER! We the people want taxing and regulation. You of all people should understand what a voting majority is. Evolve or get the hell out of the way!

    6. Julian says:

      Decriminalization movements in the most hardlined prohibitionist Republican states is hilarious entertainment. Republi-can’ts like Gov. Greg Abbott here in my state of Texas must be sweatin over their veto-pen looking at Decriminalization measures pass through committee like they did yesterday. Congratulations to Texas NORML for organizing people for lobby day and SIGNING ATTENDANCE which is so important when you visit your state Congressman!
      Giv’m an ear full. If a staff member speaks to you, they get all the work done anyway, tell them why we need decriminalization in conservative states:

      -hemp is conservative: it uses half the water than corn or cotton while producing twice the protein and cellulosic fiber.
      -we cant survive another drought without hemp and farmers wont grow it unless we decriminalize cannabis across the board.
      -Want to create jobs without spending a dime? Decriminalize marijuana and legalize hemp.
      -build more schools, not more prisons!
      -Stop wasting our tax dollars on nonviolent marijuana offenders and do something about rape kit backlogs and dna from murder evidence that sits in an evidence room collecting dust.
      -Stop arresting the parents of epileptic children and separating families struggling with epilepsy for purchasing the only safe, non-toxic and most effective treatment for seizures available.
      -you want a more secure border without depleting domestic police investigations? Decriminalize marijuana.

      -And either he changes his ways quick or get rid of Greg Abbott: You ‘re on the wrong side of history Governor. You want more effective schools? Learn how to govern: stop filling prison quotas and meet your own education quotas!

    7. Just An Observer says:

      Did anyone expect something different to happen in Kansas? They will sue you for saying the world is round…LOL!

    8. Sean says:

      This my fellow Kansans is why we need to stop supporting all of those bonehead officials who dont support our state in return. Time they had reduced pay and help with what we believe in ad a majoroty.

    9. Josh says:

      “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
      Thomas Jefferson

      This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s an American one. Many, many conservatives are on board for legalization, this conservative for one! I hope supporters of legalization stop bashing the other side of their political ideology in this instance. There are a number of Democrat politicians fighting legalization as well.

    10. John says:

      @Sean. Sean, what do you need is the ability to create a ballot initiative. There are only two states whose borders begin west of Louisiana that do not allow ballot initiative. They are Texas and Kansas. What happens the next time you want to change the law? You have to go back to kissing the legislators ass to get it changed. And they will ignore you for a decade again. I’m from Texas and we’re in the same crappy situation. Go to this website to learn more. http://ballotpedia.org/States_with_initiative_or_referendum