Kansas State Policy Alert

Sent: May 29, 2012
From: Dan Riffle
Topic: State Marijuana Laws

Title: 

Kan.: Gov. Brownback signs sentencing reform bill

Message: 

Kansas is one of the last places you’d expect to hear good news on the marijuana policy reform front. It came as a surprise then when, on Friday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law legislation that gives judges alternatives to long prison terms when sentencing certain offenders, including small time distribution and manufacturing cases.

Specifically, HB 2318 will create a new tier to the state’s sentencing grid, with sentences for manufacturing, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute generally falling between the old, harsher levels and the new, more lenient standards. To qualify for the discretionary treatment, offenders must have no more than one prior related offense on their record. The move follows a trend of conservative states addressing budget constraints by corralling growing prison populations.

Obviously, if penalties are being lowered in Kansas, we have momentum on our side. Help us build on that momentum by asking your state legislators to join neighboring Colorado and Nebraska by removing the possibility of jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana. You can also ask your elected officials to remove criminal penalties entirely for those whose doctors recommend marijuana.

Thanks for all you do; onward!