Wichita council puts marijuana issue on April ballot

Wichita voters will get the opportunity to vote on easing marijuana penalties for first-time offenders.

The Wichita City Council agreed 6-1 to place the measure to amend the city’s ordinance on the April 7 ballot. But it remains unclear what will happen even if the issue passes because state law still makes marijuana possession illegal.

Action came in the wake of a petition for it containing thousands of signatures.

The proposal makes first-offense marijuana possession a criminal infraction with a $50 fine. It would be enforced with a summons or citation rather than an arrest. A conviction could be expunged after 12 months if the offender stays out of legal trouble.

It would apply only to those 21 or older carrying 32 grams or less of marijuana.