Kansas Coalition Advocates for Cannabis Legalization and Criminal Record Expungement, Launches Educational Campaign

By Trish Svoboda

On Tuesday, leaders of a newly formed coalition expressed their commitment to back Kansas Legislature candidates who are focused on ending the state’s ban on recreational marijuana and clearing criminal records related to it.

Inga Selders, a member of the Prairie Village City Council and the founder of the Cannabis Justice Coalition, voiced her frustration over the inactivity of elected officials who have not enacted “fair and equitable” laws and policies that acknowledge the social, medical, and financial advantages of completely legalizing cannabis.

The coalition, which includes members from both sides of the political aisle, is committed to launching an educational campaign about cannabis. This campaign will prioritize scientific evidence and factual information over the comedic portrayals of marijuana seen in 1970s and 1980s films. In addition, the coalition will also engage in political advocacy, supporting state House and Senate candidates who share their belief in legalization, according to Selders.

“Despite a majority of Kansans wanting recreational cannabis fully legalized in Kansas, most of our state legislators aren’t listening to the constituents and have turned cannabis reform into a partisan issue, when in fact it isn’t,” said Selders.

The board of the coalition includes Barry Grissom, who served as the U.S. attorney for Kansas from 2010 to 2016 during President Barack Obama’s administration; Ian Graves, a member of the Prairie Village City Council and a proponent of decriminalizing marijuana; and Leslie Byram, an attorney specializing in estate planning and probate who frequently assists clients with special medical requirements.

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