The Wichita City Council has unanimously voted to give initial approval to an ordinance that would reduce penalties for some first-time marijuana offenses.
The approved ordinance would require a $50 fine for most first-time offenders of possessing marijuana; if over 21, they would not have to undergo drug-related counseling. Currently a first-time marijuana possession offense can result in up to a year in jail and/or a maximum fine of up to $2,500. Unfortunately courts would still have the option to impose such penalties if they feel appropriate in a case-by-case basis.
Under the proposed law, a second offense for marijuana possession would still bring forth the harsh penalty of imprisonment of up to a year and/or a find of up to $2,500. The ordinance will need to be approved through one more council vote – not yet scheduled – before it can take effect.