Tackling a major myth about marijuana and prison time

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Opinion

December 6, 2019 - 4:59 PM

One major myth about prisons is that they are packed with nonviolent offenders whose only crime is marijuana possession. As I have written editorials about Kansas state prisons recently, this has been the top concern of readers contacting me. But this myth is not reality.

Criminal justice reform is rightfully getting significant attention. And opinions around marijuana are changing, even in Kansas. In the 2018 FOX News/AP voter analysis survey, 62 percent of Kansas voters believed that marijuana use should “be legal nationwide.”

For a public that is increasingly aware of our prison problems and that is less puritanical than our lawmakers on marijuana, this myth is temptingly simple: solve overcrowding in Kansas prisons by stopping this outrage of imprisoning people for possessing weed.

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