Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kansas Supreme Court to rule on Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative

Wichita KS will be getting a state supreme court ruling on the Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative that was supported by voters in last April's election.
The Kansas Supreme Court will hear the case, between the state and the city of Wichita, in September.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has challenged the new ordinance, promising to stop it. He claims that a city ordinance can not legally over-ride a state law. He and other Kansas officials have not honored the democratic wishes of the people of Wichita and have done everything possible to stop the ordinance from ever being enacted.
There are several reasons some political figures, along with various individuals, are opposed to decriminalizing marijuana. Many religious leaders oppose it due to their fundamentalist ideology. There are religious leaders who believe that reformed marijuana smokers may join their churches after being forced into rehabilitation. There are also those who profit from the court mandated drug rehabilitation programs offenders are sent to.
Those who oppose it have been sending letters into The Wichita Eagle, Wichita's main local newspaper, sharing a lot of the same arguments. The latest is to remind the readers, over and over, of the case of
Seth Jackson, who left his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car, last July, while he was high on marijuana.
One of the letter writers, Peter Goico, used that antidote and insisted that this kind of thing happens all the time. But in reality such incidences are extremely rare with marijuana. Other letter writers have not mentioned any other specific cases such as this one in their letters.
The Supreme Court should be able to settle this issue once and for all. There is also the Kansas House Bill 2049 which goes further than the Wichita ordinance in lowering penalties and would be state-wide. It also allows for some medical use of marijuana.
The ballot initiative was put on the ballot after local activists from Kansas for Change coalition along with JENI (Jobs & Education-Not Incarceration) and the Peace and Social Justice Center worked for months to gather signatures. One of the main reasons for the pro-referendum groups is to stop the over population of the county's prison population.

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