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Kansas Marijuana Laws

While states across the nation, starting with Colorado and Washington, have decided to legalize recreational marijuana, Kansas still considers marijuana to be a controlled substance that shouldn’t be used recreationally by its residents. In fact, Kansas doesn’t even have legalized medical marijuana, although about half the states do allow cannabis for medical purposes. In 2014, a compassionate cannabis bill died in a Kansas senate committee, but future reform is possible.

Drug Classifications and Marijuana

Federal and state laws classify drugs from Schedule I at the highest, most dangerous level to Schedule V at the lowest. These schedules are reportedly determined by the drugs' accepted medical uses, as well as potential for addiction and harm. However, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance with such drugs as heroin and meth.  

The following table outlines the heroin laws in Kansas.

Code Section Kansas Statutes Chapter 21, Article 57: Crimes Involving Controlled Substances and Section 65-4105: Schedule I Controlled Substances
What is Prohibited? Possessing pot for personal use or for sale and selling or distributing marijuana are illegal in Kansas. Growing or cultivating Mary Jane is also illegal.
Possession Marijuana possession is treated slightly lighter than coke, heroin, and other drug possession in Kansas. The first possession charge is a misdemeanor that can be penalized by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The second marijuana possession charge is a Severity Level 5 drug felony that’s sentenced according to the Kansas Drug Offense Sentencing Grid. Your sentence will depend on your prior criminal history, varying from 10 months for no or minimal record to 42 months for 3 or more “person felonies” or crimes against people, such as assault or rape. Also, understand a drug crime on your record will be taken into account during the sentencing of any future crimes. In addition, a fine up to $100,000 could be assessed for a second marijuana possession charge.
Sale or Distribution Kansas law bases the felony severity level for selling marijuana on the amount of marijuana involved:


  • Less than 25 grams is a level 4 felony
  • 25 to 450 grams is a level 3 felony
  • 450 grams to 30 kilograms is a level 2 felony
  • 30 kilos or more is a level 1 felony

The penalty ranges from the 10 months for a level 4 felony to 17 years for a level 1, plus a fine up to $500,000 for a level 1 or 2 offense.

If you had at least 450 grams of marijuana in your possession, you’ll be presumed to have been selling, unless you can show otherwise.

The level will be bumped up a level if the weed was sold or distributed on or within 1,000 feet of any school property.

Cultivation Growing marijuana is also illegal in Kansas. The penalty varies depending on the number of plants:
  • 5 to 49 plants is a level 3 felony
  • 50 to 100 is a level 2 felony
  • 100 or more plants is a level 1 felony

These are also penalized according to the sentencing grid, from almost 4 years to 17 years depending on the number of plants and the defendant’s criminal record.

If you’re facing a criminal marijuana charge, you should talk to an experienced Kansas criminal defense lawyer or a public defender as soon as possible. If in custody, ask for a lawyer. Even a marijuana-related crime on your record can have serious consequences, such as being denied a job because you have a criminal record.

Note: State laws are revised by lawmakers, state and federal judges, and even voters quite frequently. It’s important to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these drug crime laws.

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