Marijuana advocates hope for vote on pot issue - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Marijuana advocates hope for vote on pot issue

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A group of Wichita marijuana advocates is counting petition signatures to see if there are enough to force a citywide vote on decriminalizing pot in the community.

Petitioners are trying to gather nearly 3,000 valid signatures on a petition that would give voters a chance in November to ask for sharply lower punishments for marijuana possession.

The current maximum criminal penalty of $2,500 and a year in jail would be reduced to a $25 civil fine.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1mXrv4U ) reports supporters view marijuana possession laws as a gateway into the criminal justice system for young people, especially blacks.

Among the petition's advocates is Kansas Rep. Gail Finney, a Wichita Democrat who has tried unsuccessfully for years to get the Legislature to vote on a medical marijuana bill.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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