Kansas Advocates Launch Cannabis Justice Coalition

Cannabis advocates in Kansas announced they have formed the Cannabis Justice Coalition, which will support candidates for local office who support cannabis legalization and the expunging of cannabis criminal records.

Full story after the jump.

Advocates in Kansas have formed the Cannabis Justice Coalition, which aims to support candidates for state office that would support cannabis legalization and expunging cannabis criminal records in the state, the Kansas Reflector reports. The organization was founded by Prairie Village City Council member Inga Selders, who said it was frustrating that state lawmakers fail to deliver “fair and equitable” cannabis laws.    

“Despite a majority of Kansans wanting recreational cannabis fully legalized in Kansas, most of our state legislators aren’t listening to the constituents and have turned cannabis reform into a partisan issue, when in fact it isn’t.” — Selders to the Reflector 

The coalition’s board includes Barry Grissom, the U.S. attorney for Kansas from 2010 to 2016 under President Barack Obama; Ian Graves, a Prairie Village City Council member and advocate for cannabis decriminalization; and Leslie Byram, an estate planning and probate attorney who regularly works with clients with special medical needs.

Grissom, a former prosecutor, noted that cannabis prohibition is “a waste of taxpayer money.” 

“I know that spending money on investigation, interdiction, arrest, prosecution, incarceration of individuals involved in some level of use of cannabis is bad public policy,” he said in the report. “…It is a waste of precious resources our law enforcement needs to keep us all safe in our homes, our communities, our houses of worship and our schools.” 

Graves echoed Grissom’s assertion, calling the enforcement of cannabis laws a waste of time.  

“I tell you cannabis is being consumed in Johnson County frequently. It’s already here,” Graves said. “Folks in law enforcement know that this just isn’t something we should be wasting our time on.” 

In the October 2023 “Kansas Speaks” survey by Fort Hays State University, 67.2% of respondents supported adult-use cannabis sales. 

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