Attorney general seeks data on Colorado marijuana in Kansas

In this file photo from March 2014, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt speaks at the Statehouse in Topeka.

? Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Monday that he has launched a project to collect information from local law enforcement agencies about how marijuana purchased in Colorado is entering Kansas and how it’s affecting the state.

“There are numerous and persistent anecdotal accounts of marijuana acquired in Colorado and illegally transported into Kansas causing harm here,” Schmidt said. “But because of technology limits, the confirming data is elusive. Since Colorado’s experiment with legalization is affecting Kansas, we need to know more about what is actually happening here so policymakers can make informed decisions.”

In 2012, voters in Colorado approved a constitutional amendment legalizing the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. Since then, the state has become a kind of destination attraction for people who want to enjoy a legal high, including many people who enter Colorado by way of Kansas.

Schmidt said he has sent more than 500 survey forms requesting information from all county and district attorneys in Kansas, as well as all county sheriff’s offices and city police departments, asking them about their experiences with pot from Colorado.

He also said he would make the survey results public when they are compiled later this year.

Although marijuana remains illegal nationwide under federal law, Schmidt’s office noted that federal law enforcement agencies have elected not to fully enforce those laws in states like Colorado that have elected to legalize the drug locally.

However, Schmidt said federal enforcement remains a possibility if marijuana from states like Colorado comes into surrounding states and causes harm.

Kansas state law still prohibits the possession or distribution of marijuana.