Lawrence commission favors reducing marijuana penalties

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LAWRENCE — Lawrence city commissioners say they favor reducing the city’s penalties for marijuana possession.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the issue was discussed Tuesday at a work session in response to a request from a Lawrence resident this summer. Lawrence’s penalties for marijuana possession were adopted in 2006 and more severe than the state requires.

First-time offenders in Lawrence pay a minimum fine of $200, and must also pay for and undergo a drug evaluation. Both city ordinance and state law set a maximum fine of $1000 and/or imprisonment up to 180 days.

State law doesn’t require a minimum fine for first-time offenders or a mandatory drug evaluation.

The commission took no action Tuesday but commissioners say they support reducing the minimum fine, perhaps to $50, and changing the mandatory drug evaluation.

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