Below is an overview of the April 4th ballot language and summary of the initiative. To read the full initiative Full Initiative
QUESTION NO. 5
(Reduction of Penalties for Possession or Control of Marijuana and Paraphernalia)
SHALL THE FOLLOWING BE APPROVED?
Shall the City of Kansas City limit the authorized punishment that can be imposed in the Municipal Court for the possession or control of 35 grams or less of marijuana to a maximum $25 fine, eliminate jail as a potential punishment for the possession or control of marijuana, and remove marijuana from the prohibition against drug paraphernalia?
Read the full April 4th ballot here.
Current consequences of marijuana possession are unreasonably harsh. The crime does not fit the punishment. Our neighbors should not be subject to thousands in fines and fees, arrest, jail, and stigma. Question 5 offers a compassionate alternative to current laws. Rather than potential jail time, and excessive fines, the initiative eliminates arrest and incarceration as options and a max fine of $25.
BETTER PUBLIC SAFETY
Police don't want to ruin people's lives. Question 5 seeks to give KC police a better alternative to state and federal marijuana enforcement. Low-level marijuana offences are better handled by the city because police will have more time and resources to focus on property and violent crime.
Everyone makes mistakes. Convicted users should not be subject to legal trauma. The social stigma can impact future education employment, housing, and benefits. With over half of marijuana arrests coming from ages 18-29 years, the next generation deserve better opportunities, rather than lingering setbacks. Question 5 seeks to reduce the the disproportionate marijuana arrests burdens that currently plague our youth and minority communities.