City council votes to work with marijuana petition organizers

WICHITA, Kansas – The Wichita City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to work with organizers of the pot petition in hopes of getting it put on the April ballot.

The petition to lessen penalties for marijuana in Wichita was rejected for having less than 40 signatures.

The petition called for the city to “remove all criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of cannabis/marijuana for adult personal or medical use and possession of paraphernalia, and that a maximum civil fine of $25.00 shall be implemented for possession of cannabis/marijuana and possession of paraphernalia for adults”.

It was filed with the Wichita City Clerk on July 24th.

Last week, the Sedgwick County Election Office verified that the petition failed to contain the necessary signatures of 25 percent of the qualified electors who voted in the last city election.

Since the petition failed to garner the necessary number of signatures, no further action was required by the council.

“We did the work now, and the people want to vote on this now. And this is the regular actions of government to try to kick the can down the road,” said Esau Freeman, supports pot petition.

Freeman watched as the council voted 7-0 to not put it on the ballot in November.

Council members say the wording in the petition is a problem because it would legalized other drug items.

“Other forms of paraphernalia and things so what we have done is just asked our city attorney to get with their attorney to word out some language,” said James Clendenin, Wichita City Council member.

City council members say it can be put on the ballot with new wording, but they will have to go out and gather signatures again and try in April.

Activists say it is not over.

“But here’s the bottom line. Those people work for us, and all we wanted was the opportunity for a vote,” said Jennifer Winn, spoke in support of the petition.

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