Kansas

Is weed legal In Kansas?

No. In Kansas, marijuana for any purpose is illegal. 

 

Only CBD with 0% THC is legal in the state. Kansas law places no restrictions on where CBD can be consumed but it may not be smoked or vaporized in flower form, as many cannabis consumption accessories are criminalized as drug paraphernalia. 

 

Patients or parents of minor patients with debilitating medical conditions who possess CBD oil with less than 5% THC can avoid criminal conviction with a letter from their physician. But they can still be arrested, charged, and taken to court. 

 

Possession of even small, personal amounts of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for the first offense.  

Legislation history

Before the 2018 legislative session, Kansas was one of the strictest states in the US when it came to prohibiting cannabis. Kansas first banned marijuana in 1927, as most states west of the Mississippi River did. Since then, Kansas has barely changed its stance on the plant.

 

On April 20, 2018, Gov. Jeff Colyer signed into law SB 263, also known as the Alternative Crop Research Act. The act instructed the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) to launch a program, in collaboration with Kansas’ public universities, investigating the viability of industrial hemp, defined as cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC content.

 

Shortly after, on May 24, 2018, Colyer signed SB 282, which explicitly amended the legal definition of marijuana to exempt cannabidiol (CBD), thus legalizing broad access to CBD products so long as they contain zero THC. 

 

Gov. Laura Kelly signed SB 28, Claire and Lola’s Law, in 2019. It provided an “affirmative defense” for patients and parents or guardians of patients who possess and use CBD oil with less than 5% THC. An affirmative defense is usually presented in a trial, meaning the person can still be arrested, charged, and held while awaiting trial. 

 

In order to claim the defense, the patient or parent/guardian must have with them at the time of arrest a letter from a doctor licensed in Kansas that states the patient’s “debilitating medical condition.” The letter must be on the doctor’s letterhead and dated within the last 15 months. The law did not include a list of conditions but stipulated a medically diagnosed disease or condition that impairs strength or function, including seizures. 

FAQ

What drugs are legal in Kansas?

That’s a very broad question. CBD with 0% THC is legal for anyone and CBD with less than 5% THC is legal for qualified patients and caregivers. The state’s schedules of controlled substances provide more detailed information on the regulation of drugs in Kansas. Marijuana is definitely illegal though.

 

Is being high in Kansas illegal?

It depends on what you mean by being high. Possession of any amount of cannabis or drug paraphernalia is illegal in Kansas. Driving while under the influence, or high, is illegal. For a deeper dive into Kansas law, start here.  

 

Is Kansas a no-tolerance state?

There’s no set definition for the term “no tolerance.” Though there are very clear consequences for drug-related crimes in Kansas. For example, Kansas law states that operating or attempting to operate any vehicle while under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs that makes you unable to operate the vehicle safely constitutes a DUI. The first conviction for this offense is a class B misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of 48 consecutive hours to six months imprisonment (or 100 hours of community service) and a fine of $750 to $1,000. 

 

When will marijuana be legal in Kansas? 

While we can’t predict the future, we know that Kansas citizens cannot petition to have a vote on legalization added to the ballot. Only the state legislature can legalize marijuana by passing bills in both the House and Senate. Then the governor would have to sign it, veto it, or let it pass without signing. Several medical marijuana bills, the usual starting point for legalization, have been proposed in the last few years but none have made it through. The current governor, Laura Kelly, has expressed her support for legalizing medical marijuana but the legislature has to put a bill in front of her first. 

 

What is the penalty for marijuana in Kansas?

Possession of even small, personal amounts of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for the first offense.

 

What Kansas City clinics prescribe medical marijuana medical cards? 

Kansas does not have medical marijuana cards because it’s illegal in Kansas. CBD oil with 0% THC is legal and available to anyone. Patients (or parents/guardians of minor patients) with a letter from their doctor confirming their diagnoses with a debilitating medical condition have a legal defense for possessing CBD oil with less than 5% THC but the state makes no provisions for purchasing said oil.  

 

Where does Kansas stand on medical marijuana?

Several medical marijuana bills have been proposed in the last few years but none have made it through the state legislature, the state’s only route for legalization. Current governor Laura Kelly has expressed her support for medical marijuana but the legislature has to put a bill in front of her first. As the law currently stands, medical marijuana is illegal in Kansas. 

This page was last updated October 23, 2020.