Kansas City removes marijuana violations from city code, decriminalizing possession and use of cannabis

KMBZ News Staff
July 10, 2020 - 12:48 pm
A close-up of a man smoking a marijuana cigarette joint.

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Kansas City, MO -  The city council has voted 9-4 to strip the crime of marijuana possession from the Kansas City code of ordinances.

The move effectively decriminalizes the use and possession of up to 35g of marijuana within the city limits. 

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Mayor Quinton Lucas made the proposal three weeks ago, saying marijuana laws drive up incarcerations, especially among minority groups.  The ACLU has said African Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though their usage rates are about the same as whites. 

Marijuana users can still be charged for possession by county prosecutors who wish to pursue charges.

In Jackson County, prosecutor Jean Peters Baker had already pledged to stop charging most people for possession after local voters decided overwhelmingly in 2017 to eliminate jail time for possession.

But in parts of Kansas City that lie in Clay, Platte and Cass counties, people could still face state possession charges.

 

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