On Tuesday, a 20-year-old Kansas Legislator launched a reform to widely legalize drug possession across the state.
Representative Aaron Coleman filed the bill. In 2020, he outpaced a seven-term serving in the Democratic primary. During a phone interview held on Wednesday, he disclosed that he was encouraged by Oregon’s voter-approved measure that eliminates the risk of jail time for minor drug possession.
He asserted that’s what made him indulge in the issue, but he added that he has always believed that drug consumption is a mental health issue rather than an illegal one.
According to his proposal, possession of personal-use controlled substances would be categorized as a civil offence that attracts a $100 fine.
For folks arrested for other drugs besides cannabis, prosecutors would recommend them for compulsory treatment- failure to adhere to this condition will culminate in a misdemeanor ruling that’s punishable by 5 days in jail, not more than $250 fine and half-year of probation.
The reform would also minimize penalties for distributing or manufacturing controlled drug substances by reducing sentencing conditions for individuals convicted of these offences. Nonetheless, Coleman underscored that drug offence, apart from minor possession, would still attract felony charges.
That is included in the language he plans to table to the legislature as he tries to convince cynical legislators about the importance of policy change.
Coleman said that the state won’t authorize distribution or manufacturing and his proposal will enable law enforcement to stop concentrating on minor uses and keep a keen eye on drug distributors and manufacturers.
The launch of the reform comes as Kansas’s governor and legislators step up efforts to decriminalize medical marijuana within the state. Governor Kelly Laura recently hinted at a proposal to implement policy change and use cannabis tax returns to finance the state’s Medicaid expansion.
Coleman asserted that there’s a chance that his legalization legislation would be included in the medical marijuana legislation.