Panel to Debate Marijuana Laws

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Senate committee is preparing to debate a bill that would loosen the state’s marijuana laws.

The Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee was meeting Tuesday to discuss a bill that passed the House last year.

The measure would decrease the maximum penalties for first-time, misdemeanor marijuana possession to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine from a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. A second possession conviction would no longer be a felony.

The bill also would allow therapeutic hemp oil to be used in treating seizures and set up a program to research industrial hemp production.

The measure drew support in a hearing from parents with children who suffer serious seizures, but some advocates for medical marijuana do not think it goes far enough.