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Want legalized marijuana in Kansas? It could be awhile

With many cities and states around the US legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, many supporters of marijuana are eager to be the next state or city on that list. While a couple bills in support of the drug have made their way to the Kansas Legislature, they stopped short of a debate in both the house and senate for various reasons. Those in support of legalization say the plant has less harmful effects than alcohol and can be used to provide relief for a variety of ailments. Meanwhile, opponents claim that marijuana use has a social cost, just like alcohol, and that federal law is clear on its prohibited status.

In the meantime, those who are thinking about using marijuana should remember that it is still a prohibited substance in the state. There are potential legal consequences if prosecuted for marijuana use or possession which can vary due to a person's history with law enforcement, the amount of the prohibited substance allegedly found on a persona and any other compounding charges brought against a person. Drug charges can have ramifications other than the court system. It could affect a person's ability to be hired if convicted, impact their ability to attend schools or just throw a wrench in a person's plans.

The Kansas public has been polled on the subject, and they appear fairly split in their stance on legalizing marijuana. Half of those polled were in support of recreational use and 76 percent were in support of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Nearby Colorado has been a supporter of legalization of marijuana from the beginning. Twenty-eight other states have approved some level of marijuana use.

However, Kansas has a reputation for being one of the last states to implement new legislation. The governor has openly stated that he is, 'not a fan' of legalization of marijuana. However, the bill needs to pass through Kansas Legislature if it wants to gain ground. Lesser penalties exist for marijuana-related drug charges. However, it is still a prohibited substance in Kansas.

Source:, "Want to light up a legal joint in Kansas? You'll be waiting awhile," Jonathan Shorman, January 4, 2018

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