Attorney general releases report on Colorado marijuana in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas attorney general’s office has published a report that shows marijuana from Colorado has permeated nearly all parts of Kansas.

The report also shows that Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana has resulted in a sharp increase in the availability of marijuana-laced edibles in Kansas, a phenomenon rarely encountered here before the Colorado experiment.

Since Colorado changed its state law to allow recreational and medical use of marijuana, persistent anecdotal reports from law enforcement agencies in Kansas had suggested Colorado marijuana was flowing into Kansas despite assurances that federal authorities would exercise their authority to prevent Colorado marijuana from flowing into nearby states where it remains illegal. But solid data about the extent of the problem was unavailable.

In December 2015, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt began gathering information from local law enforcement officials and surveying all county and district attorneys, sheriffs and police departments in the state about their specific experiences with marijuana coming from Colorado. The information provided by 320 responding law enforcement agencies and 70 prosecutors’ offices is compiled in the report released by the attorney general.

“This report provides the first data-based snapshot of the specific effects Colorado’s experiment in legalization is having in Kansas,” Schmidt said. “I hope this information will serve to better inform policy discussions and debates.”

The report summarizes its findings as follows: The survey responses demonstrate that Colorado marijuana is prevalent in Kansas. While some jurisdictions reported an increase in overall levels of marijuana crimes, the major effect of Colorado marijuana legalization appears to be that high grade marijuana from Colorado has to a large extent replaced lower grade marijuana from Mexico and homegrown marijuana. Numerous jurisdictions also reported a significant rise in the availability of marijuana edibles and other marijuana products, such as waxes and oils, originating from Colorado.

A copy of the report is available on the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov/survey-results. That site also links to the raw information collected from the responding law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

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