Kansas Lawmakers Reviewing Bill to Ease Marijuana Punishment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are reviewing a bill that would lessen the state's penalties for marijuana possession and allow the limited use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee was meeting Wednesday for the first of two days of hearings on the marijuana legislation. The panel was taking testimony from supporters first and hearing from opponents Thursday.

The House approved the bill last year.

The measure would decrease the maximum penalties for first-time, misdemeanor marijuana possession to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine from a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. A second possession conviction would no longer be a felony.

The bill also would allow cannabis to be used in treating seizures and set up a program to research industrial hemp production.

(Photo Courtesy of The Daily Chronic)

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