The highest court in Kansas on Friday voided a voter-approved ordinance in Wichita to reduce punishments for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
By a 7-0 vote, the Kansas Supreme Court said Wichita ignored filing and disclosure rules that were mandated by state law, and meant to ensure that legislators and voters in the state’s most populous city understood the ordinance before a vote was taken.
These shortcomings meant voters were never “officially advised of the entirety” of what the ordinance meant, or how it would change existing law, Chief Justice Lawton Nuss wrote.
Approved by voters last April with a 54 percent majority, the ordinance set a maximum $50 fine for adults over 21 who were convicted for the first time of possessing no more than 32 grams (1.1 ounces) of marijuana, or related drug paraphernalia.
That conflicted with a state law classifying such an offense as a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. [Read more at Reuters]