Petitioners seeking to decriminalize municipal penalties specific to the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, a representative from the Kansas City Clerk’s office confirmed today.
The proposal, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, amends citywide penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine, punishable by a $25 fine. Similar municipal measures are currently in place in St. Louis and in Columbia, Missouri.
Members of the city council have 60 days to either act on the measure or to place it before voters this spring in a special election.
Under state law, the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. On January 1, new sentencing provisions will take effect reclassifying the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana as a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine but no jail.