To the editor:
The Drug Policy Forum of Kansas (DPFKS) proposed a city ordinance to ban marijuana and drug paraphernalia, not decriminalize marijuana. You can't do that in Kansas. Hello! The proposed penalty is the same as now, up to one year in jail, a maximum $2,500 fine or both. There's a rumor we are decriminalizing marijuana. As everyone learned in school, rumors are a gateway drug to misunderstanding. Just say no!
There are differences. People charged won't have that fingerprint/mug experience at the jail. Prosecutions will be moved to the little courthouse reserved for minor offenses like DUI number two.
Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists, but DPFKS have no hidden motive. There's no big money man from Washington, D.C., bankrolling us. No "legalize today, get high tonight" philosophy behind our request.
DPFKS researched the top 50 cities in Kansas by population, and found 29 have the same ordinance we proposed. Radical cities like Andover, Parsons and that way-out hippie commune Dodge City.
Only two of the top 50 impose a minimum fine and/or jail time, Overland Park and Garden City. One city, Olathe, imposes a "safety" class, and the other 18 have no ordinance at all.
This isn't about special interest; it's about best interest, the best interest of our police officers, our courts, our student populations, our low-income residents, and our tax dollars.
The kids will be fine, trust us. They will still be able to buy pot until we do something really rational like tax and regulate it out of their school lockers.
Laura A. Green,
executive director, DPFKS,