Kansas City, Missouri Voting Tuesday on Cannabis Decriminalization

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This Tuesday, voters in Kansas City, Missouri will weigh in on a cannabis decriminalization measure that, if approved, would reduce penalties for possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis by adults 21 and older from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a $100 fine, to a civil offense carrying a $25 fine with no criminal record or arrest.

Jamie Kacz, executive director of Kansas City NORML, said the main objective of the initiative “is to eliminate jail time” while reducing current cannabis possession penalties levied in the state.

“We have received an outpouring of support from voters across Kansas City who are ready for change and no longer want to see their loved ones suffer for marijuana possession,” Kacz said in a statement.

A March 27 survey from the Remington Research Group found 56 percent of respondents supported Question 5, which according to a Kansas City Star report requires a simple majority to pass.

Jessica Kelly, a member of Kansas City NORML’s Board of Directors, called the Remington Research survey “promising” because it was conducted using landlines, meaning “it was likely an older demographic weighing in on the issue.”

“Typically, younger demographics tend to vote in favor of marijuana reform, so this shows a good chance of the initiative passing with the support of both older and younger demographics,” she said.

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