Kansas considers medical marijuana bills in 2017 session
Last update: April 19, 2017
Kansas is one of only three states whose laws lack any acknowledgement of the medical benefits of cannabis. Several bills were introduced this year that would have created comprehensive medical cannabis programs. Unfortunately, they are almost certainly dead for the year, having failed to get voted out of committee prior to a legislative deadline. Several other bills have been introduced that would provide more limited protections for patients using low-THC cannabis products, including HB 2152, which is similar to the bill that passed the Kansas House in 2016. It would provide in-state access for patients. That bill still has a chance to pass in 2017 — click here to urge your lawmakers to support it.
Sixty-eight percent of Kansans support patient access to medical marijuana, which studies show can provide relief for patients suffering from serious conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. Please take a moment to let your state lawmakers know you support compassionate access to medical marijuana in Kansas.
Penalties for marijuana possession reduced in 2016
During the 2016 session, the Kansas Legislature enacted HB 2462, which took effect on July 1, 2016. It reduced penalties for first-time marijuana possession by half, from one year to six months in jail. A second offense was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year. A bill that includes a minor penalty reduction for some marijuana paraphernalia, SB 112, is headed to a conference committee later in the 2017 session.
Given that recent polls show that 63% of Kansans support decriminalizing marijuana and imposing a civil fine, there is tremendous support for a further step — eliminating criminal penalties. If you agree, ask your legislators to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
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