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Marijuana charges in Kansas

Contrary to the message from westerly neighbors in Colorado, marijuana is illegal as ever in Kansas. Earlier this year the state legislature reduced punishment for first time possession charges, but Kansas remains one of the harshest states for marijuana penalties in the country. As popular culture and other states spread the message that possession of pot isn't a serious crime, it remains one here.

On July 1, a new law took effect that lowers the first possession penalty to a maximum six months in jail plus fines, previously at up to one year in jail. The state has a separate charge for "intent to distribute," however, and if you've been charged with possession you'll need legal help to wade through the red tape and avoid maximum penalties in a state that's taken a conservative approach to drug law reform. The Garden City Police Department reports an increase in marijuana arrests since Colorado legalized the drug, emphasizing the state's position to enforce existing codes instead of looking the other way.

There are many defenses: unlawful searches, inaccurate proof of possession and questionable probable cause may lead to suppression of evidence. Plus, plea agreements or diversion may be options to keep your record and future prospects clean. Kansas typically punishes marijuana crimes with both fines and incarceration, but it often depends on specifics to the case and if it's a first time offense.

With marijuana continually in the news, it's a frequent courtroom topic and attorneys have experience in defense cases. Other states may be more lenient toward the drug today, but marijuana charges may be a winnable and even dismissible fight.

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