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KS law enforcement stresses operations will not change after MO legalizes recreational marijuana

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Posted at 8:04 AM, Dec 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-03 14:49:17-05

LEAWOOD, Kan. — Recreational marijuana will officially be legal in Missouri as of Dec. 8, but in Kansas, the use and possession of cannabis, and related products, remains illegal.

State Line Road is top of mind as a potential area of concern, but Kansas law enforcement agencies with jurisdictions along the stretch are echoing the same message: operations will not be impacted by the legalization of cannabis in Missouri.

"Marijuana has been prevalent in the area for a long time, and we don't expect that to change many things," said Chris Morse, community research officer for the Leawood Police Department.

Morse says Leawood police will continue to enforce Kansas law but won't be conducting checkpoints or putting extra resources into trying to actively catch people with cannabis once they cross the state line.

In Kansas, parties caught with marijuana could face anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony charge. There are additional legal ramifications for drivers guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana.

"Driving while under the influence can be from alcohol or drugs, even marijuana, so the effects that the substance can take on your body has many of the same effects that alcohol mimics," Morse said.

So far this year, Leawood has made 130 arrests for drug violations, with the majority being marijuana, and has made 12 DUI arrests with cannabis present.

Roeland Park police say no special changes will be made at this time. For 2022, Roeland Park has made 12 arrests for marijuana, none were DUI related, and has confiscated less than three pounds of marijuana.

Similarly, Kansas City, Kansas, police "do not anticipate any changes."

"Our primary concern is a potential increase in impaired driving as safety is always our primary concern," the KCK Police Department said in a statement.