Wichita City Council votes to decriminalize cannabis

WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Wichita City Council has voted to decriminalize marijuana and now state leaders in the area have vowed action next session.

The Wichita City Council voted 5-2 on Tuesday night, Sept. 13, to no longer prosecute marijuana cases which means that while the drug is not legalized, the decision to prosecute would move from the City to the District Attorney.

Specifically, the Council voted to exclude fentanyl testing strips and marijuana from the definition of “drug paraphernalia.”

“Wichitans have said for a long time that they want legal access to marijuana. Today’s ordinance decriminalizing possession is a meaningful first step. I hope this action will lead to the legislature passing a bill next session,” said Kansas House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer (D-Wichita). “Last January, I introduced constitutional amendments alongside Assistant Democratic Leader Jason Probst allowing Kansans to vote on marijuana legalization. Despite statewide excitement, the Legislature declined to allow hearings, a debate, or a vote. Kansas remains one of four states with a full prohibition on marijuana.”

“I won’t stop advocating for legalization at the state level and I appreciate the leadership shown today by Mayor Brandon Whipple and the city council,” Sawyer noted. “As I celebrate this progress, I have Rep. Gail Finney in mind — a key pillar in the marijuana legalization fight and honorable Wichita public servant.”

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