Kansas Movement on marijuana

Because of Wichita’s approval of a city ordinance in April and House action last week, Kansas no longer seems like the last place you’d expect to weaken marijuana laws.

The Kansas Supreme Court’s order Wednesday in response to Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s challenge of Wichita’s new marijuana ordinance was welcome news. The September oral arguments and resulting ruling should clarify the future of the ordinance, which is caught up in legal confusion.

Forced onto the April 7 ballot by a successful petition drive, as state law allows, the new ordinance makes first-time possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in Wichita a criminal infraction with a $50 fine for those 21 and older – which is at odds with state law’s definition of marijuana possession as a Class A misdemeanor subject to a $2,500 fine and one year in jail.

Approval of the ordinance, with ...

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