Yesterday, voters in Wichita, Kansas approved a ballot measure that greatly reduces the penalties for marijuana possession.
The Wichita Eagle reports:
Of the 37,000 Wichita voters, 54 percent said they wanted more lenient penalties for first-time offenders. About 45 percent wanted to keep the status quo.
The major provision of the ballot initiative was to reduce the punishment for a first-time marijuana conviction to a $50 fine. Violations would be an infraction that wouldn’t have to be disclosed on most job and college scholarship applications.
Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, attended an Election Night party with the measure’s supporters and said she hopes the win in Wichita will send a message to the capital for the state to ease up on marijuana....
Attorney General Derek Schmidt has issued an opinion that the initiative is unlawful, primarily because it conflicts with state law....Under state law, first-time marijuana possession is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a penalty of as much as a $2,500 fine and a year in jail. Legally, that puts it on par with violent offenses including assaulting a police officer.