Is Weed Legal in Kansas?

Is Weed Legal in Kansas? Can You Obtain Legal Medical Marijuana in Kansas? Is Recreational Pot Legal in Kansas?

Kansas. Situated in Midwestern United States, bordering Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado. Named after the Kansa Native Americans, Kansas is best know for being home to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Home state to many tornadoes, it has the nickname "Tornado Alley".

Along with their famous characteristics, the beloved watermelon is the official state fruit of Kansas.

Is Weed Legal in Kansas?

Unfortunately, Kansas is one of 6 states to make cannabis fully illegal in terms of both recreational and medicinal use. However, with recent efforts in reducing the penalties and decriminalising weed, we hope to see new comings to Kansas.

History of Cannabis in Kansas

Is Weed Legal in Kansas?

Kansas initially banned all uses of marijuana in 1927, along with many states west of the Mississippi River. Here, Kansas remains as one of the most strictest states for the prohibition of any use of marijuana with heavy fines and imprisonment times.

The prior governor of Kansas, Jeff Colyer, signed SB 282 on May 24, 2018. This law amended the legal definition of cannabis to not include CBD (cannabidiol) and therefore legalising state access to CBD products that have 0% THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – the chemical substance that allows users to feel a "high"). This was a great feat in history as it gave hope to many Kansas residents on the future endeavours of legalising weed.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Kansas?

As stated before, medical marijuana is not legal in Kansas. However, patients with debilitating medical conditions who possess and use CBD oil with less than 5% THC can avoid criminal conviction. To avoid this, a letter from their doctor must be on the doctor's letterhead and dated within the last 15 months. It is unfortunate though to find out that these users can still be arrested, charged and taken to court due to the residing laws surrounding weed.

A Kansas house committee had adopted another set of amendments to a legalisation bill recently for the use of medical marijuana and has been cleared to a floor vote.

This legislation encompasses and would introduce a medical marijuana program for qualified patients (that have one of 21 conditions). Within this bill, the medical marijuana would not be allowed to be smoked or within vaping products. And it is not be provided for home cultivation. The medical conditions for patients to qualify for this program include but is not limited to:

Patients would be eligible for medicinal marijuana by a doctor's recommendation based off their condition. Their condition must significantly inhibit their ability to conduct daily activities. And if the lack of treatment by medical cannabis would cause serious physical or mental detriment to their health.

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Kansas?

Is Weed Legal in Kansas? No.

In Kansas, the use and possession of recreational marijuana is strictly prohibited. If an individual is found in possession of the drug, there will be a posed fine and imprisonment time.

If you are caught in possession of the drug, you can spend up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. The first conviction is classified as a Class B misdemeanour, which may carry a sentence ranging from 48 consecutive hours to 1 year of imprisonment. This is based off of the nature of the offence.

Surveys have shown that sixty-three percent of Kansas residents support decriminalising marijuana. And 100% of these individuals support patient access to medical marijuana.The Marijuana Policy Project

Legislations and Laws Surrounding Weed in Kansas

There have been many obstacles in the fight for legalising marijuana in Kansas. And has led to many rejected and approved adoptions and amendments but have currently unfortunately resulted in no change. Democratic Governor, Laura Kelly, has stated that she supports the legalisation of medicinal marijuana and has proposed using the revenue from the medicinal cannabis to pay for MediCaid expansion. The board did not favour this and the bill has not gained any traction in moving forward.

On a lighter note, here are some approved bills that support the legalisation of medical cannabis in Kansas.

Rep. John Eplee (R)

  • Allow the state Board of Healing Arts to adopt regulations for medical practitioners who want to issue recommendations.
  • Let employers continue to enforce workplace drug testing and penalize workers over medical cannabis use.

Rep. Jo Ella Hoye (D)

  • Require child-resistant packaging when a marijuana product transfers from a dispensary to a patient.

Rep. Eric Smith (R)

  • Require tamper-proof, Kansas-specific seal on packaging and impose an open-container law for marijuana products when in a vehicle. The cannabis is kept in a locked trunk if the seal is broken.

The decriminalisation of marijuana has been a hefty topic for Kansas residents. Voters approved a citizen petition that reduces the maximum fine from $1,000 to $500-$25 and eliminated the possible imprisonment time for possessing 1 and 1/4 ounces or less of pot.

The Kansas Legislature enacted HB 2462 to reduce penalties. First time marijuana possessors with now only need to spend 6 months in jail in comparison to 1 year. And second offense was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanour with a maximum sentence of one year.

The Future of Weed for Kansas

Hopefully, with the growing popularity and legalisation of marijuana across the US, Kansas will soon follow these footsteps. And although it seems as there is little movement in the legalisation process, it is projected to take a few more years before medical marijuana will be legalised and come into play.

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Catherine Phung
Catherine Phung

Catherine Phung is a full time university student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Marketing at UNSW. Catherine has interests in baking, powerlifting and is venturing into research within the cannabis industry.