I love local marijuana activism. I obviously love all forms of marijuana activism, but it always makes me smile when I hear of local efforts. I always say if we can’t get reform at the federal level, try for the state level. If getting a state level victory can’t be readily achieved, then go for a local victory. Enough local victories will lead to a state victory, and enough state victories will lead to a victory at the federal level.
On local effort in Wichita, Kansas has gathered enough signatures to put marijuana decriminalization to a vote. Per Whaxy:
Organizers of a Wichita petition to reduce penalties for marijuana possession announced they have collected more than enough required signatures to put an initiative on the city election ballot on April 7, 2015.
The push for change is being lead by Esau Freeman, president of the pro-marijuana group Kansas for Change. Freeman said they are planning to submit the signatures to election officials on January 7. It is exciting to see this effort have different results than the attempt before the November general election, which fell just short of the number of required signatures collected. Leading up to the submission of the signatures, the group will be making public presentations at a state legislative forum and City Council meeting. Both of these events will occur on January 6.
The petition, if passed, would reduce the penalty for marijuana possession by an adult of up to 32 grams to a fine of $50. If there are no other offenses, the violation would be expunged from the person’s record after one year. If an effort like this can succeed in a conservative area like Wichita, Kansas, it can succeed just about anywhere.