Even though marijuana is illegal in Kansas, the legalization of the drug in Colorado has had a significant impact on the state. According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a recent survey of 320 different Kansas law enforcement agencies and 70 district attorneys' offices revealed that the marijuana being confiscated in Kansas today is much more potent than it used to be. Essentially, the high-grade marijuana from Colorado has replaced lower-grade marijuana smuggled from Mexico and homegrown pot. Schmidt says Colorado pot is "permeating" every part of Kansas. This includes a substantial rise in edibles made with marijuana or infused with marijuana oil.
Inconsistency in Kansas enforcement of marijuana laws
The survey also indicated there are many inconsistencies across jurisdictions as to how marijuana possession is handled. Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Washington D.C. And voters in five other states will decide this fall whether or not to legalize it for recreational use in their states as well. With this legalization in some states and potential legalization in others, attitudes about marijuana among people in Kansas, including law enforcement officers, are widely varied.
Some police want to strictly enforce Kansas laws while others refuse to even write citations for possession of marijuana. And with a growing number of citizens who support the legalization of marijuana, some juries have even refused to hand down marijuana convictions.
Attorney General Schmidt largely blames the federal government for the situation. He says more steps should have been taken to keep Colorado marijuana from coming into neighboring states.
What to do if you're facing a marijuana possession charge
If you do end up being charged with marijuana possession in Kansas, the best thing to do is to speak to a knowledgeable attorney. You still need legal advice and strong protection of your rights. A good criminal defense attorney will have a solid understanding of the Fourth Amendment, and search and seizure laws. This is often critical to a successful defense.