Lawrence to discuss reducing marijuana possession penalties


FILE – This Feb. 1, 2011 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many of the illnesses state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its purported benefits published Tuesday, June […]

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – Lawrence city commissioners will consider a proposal to reduce penalties for marijuana possession.

Currently, first-time offenders face a fine between $200 and $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail. Those who are granted a diversion must pay for mandatory drug-abuse evaluation and could be required to receive drug-abuse education, counseling or treatment.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the city prosecutor is recommending penalties for first-time marijuana possession of $200, a substance abuse evaluation and classes or treatment, 90 day jail sentences that would be suspended if another violation doesn’t occur, and six months of unsupervised probation. A second offense would increase the penalties to a $300 fine and a year of probation.

The city’s health department submitted a statement to the commission opposing reducing penalties for marijuana possession.

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