By reducing offense classifications for simple possession offenses, the Kansas Legislature recently reduced the penalties for certain marijuana crimes.

Under prior law, a first offense for simple possession of marijuana (possession with no intent to distribute) was classified as a class A misdemeanor; it carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. A second offense for simple possession was a felony punishable 10 to 42 months in prison, depending on the offender’s criminal history.

Under the new law, a first-time marijuana possession offense is a class B misdemeanor; maximum jail time is 6 months—half the maximum punishment under the old law. Second-time possession penalty is now a class A misdemeanor. A third offense is still a felony.

These are significant modifications for simple possession offenses, but the classifications of other marijuana offenses (e.g. distribution, possession with intent to distribute, etc.) remain unchanged.

Any criminal conviction can have consequences beyond the sentence imposed. If you have been accused of a crime, seek legal advice immediately.

Call Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC’s criminal defense attorneys in Wichita, Topeka, Lawrence, Overland Park & Kansas City, KS.