Bill to reduce felony marijuana charges fails to pass

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Lawmakers on the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee previously heard testimony on a bill that would reduce felony violations for possession of marijuana charges.

Under the bill, anyone convicted two or more times of personal-use possession of marijuana or THC could not be charged with more than a class A misdemeanor. This would take a felony conviction of 13 months in prison to a misdemeanor of 12 months. Original drafts of the bill also called for the release of prisoners serving time only for possession of marijuana charges, however that was quickly removed from the bill in the committee meeting.

After a vote in the committee meeting on Monday, the bill failed to pass. Some lawmakers on the committee expressed their shock at the vote.

“A felony conviction is a heavy burden for an offender, around an offense that, in many states now, is not a crime at all,” said Representative J. Russell Jennings, R-Lakin. “It’s pretty harsh.”

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