Kansas considers medical marijuana bills in 2017 session

 

Last update: February 13, 2017

 

Kansas is one of only six states whose laws lack any acknowledgement of the medical benefits of cannabis. Several bills have been introduced this year that would finally change that — HB 2348, SB 187, and SB 155 would each create comprehensive medical cannabis programs. 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.

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.


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.

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. You can also look up your legislators and ask them to support SB 178, a bill sponsored by Sen. David Haley (D – Kansas City) that would legalize small amounts of marijuana.


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