Marijuana in Missouri: Kansas City Passes Decriminalization Ordinance

Marijuana in Missouri: Kansas City Passes Decriminalization Ordinance

Flickr / retinafunk / CC BY-SA 2.0

On April 4, 2017, voters in Kansas City, Missouri, overwhelmingly approved Question 5, a decriminalization ordinance that reduces the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a simple fine. Two other cities in the state, St. Louis and Columbia, have also decriminalized marijuana possession.

Under current state law, possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. But under the recently approved decriminalization ordinance, those caught in Kansas City with up to 35 grams of marijuana will only be fined $25.

Although no arrest or court record will be kept, those fined will have a city violation on their public record. According KCUR, however, city violations do not carry the same legal weight as state and federal violations should have minimal impact on those charged.

In a statement, Jamie Kacz, Executive Director of Kansas City NORML, said that the “era of reefer madness in Kansas City has come to an end.”

“We could not be more excited about the positive impact passing Question 5 will bring to the communities of Kansas City. We fought long and hard for this result and could not have done it without the support of our volunteers,” Kacz said.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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