Wichita Pot Campaign Intensifies

(AP) – Some lawmakers and state officials are ramping up the pressure against a Wichita ballot initiative that seeks to ease penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

But supporters of the measure are also pushing back after crashing their news conference Friday in front of the Sedgwick County courthouse.

The issue is on the ballot for Tuesday’s election in Wichita.

The proposed ordinance does not legalize marijuana. It makes first-time possession a criminal infraction with a $50 fine. Under state law, it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and a year in jail.

Opponents contend the city has no legal authority to adopt an ordinance that conflicts with state law.

Supporters say people should vote for the measure anyway to send the Legislature a message.

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