What is the law on Marijuana Possession in Shawnee Municipal Court?

The City of Shawnee passes city ordinances or laws that govern the behaviors of people within the city limits. The Shawnee Municipal Court hears alleged violations of those laws. Each city in Kansas has the option of adopting the Uniform Code for Kansas Municipalities. The code is simply a prewritten body of laws that have been used and vetted by other cities. The Uniform code is designed to save time, effort and expense to the cities that chose to adopt it. The City of Shawnee has adopted the Uniform Code as to Marijuana Possession. Below is the relevant code prohibiting Marijuana Possession.

Sec. 9.9.1. Unlawful Possession of Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols.

(a) Except as authorized by the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, K.S.A. 65-4101 et seq., and amendments thereto, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess or have under such person’s control marijuana, as designated in K.S.A. 65-4105(d), and amendments thereto, or tetrahydrocannabinols, as designated in K.S.A. 65- 4105(h), and amendments thereto.

(b) Penalty. Violations of subsection (a) is a Class B violation for a first offense and a class A violation if the person has a prior conviction under K.S.A. 65- 4162, prior to its repeal, under substantially similar offense from another jurisdiction, or under any city ordinance or county resolution for a substantially similar offense.

(c) It shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section arising out of a person’s possession of any cannabidiol treatment preparation if the person: (1) Has a debilitating medical condition, as defined in section 1, and amendments thereto, or is the parent or guardian of a minor child who has such debilitating medical condition; (2) Is possessing a cannabidiol treatment preparation, as defined in section 1, and amendments thereto, that is being used to treat such debilitating medical condition; and (3) Has possession of a letter, at all times while the person has possession of the cannabidiol treatment preparation, that: 104 (A) Shall be shown to a law enforcement officer on such officer’s request; (B) Is dated within the preceding 15 months and signed by the physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery in Kansas who diagnosed the debilitating medical condition; (C) Is on such physician’s letterhead; and (D) Identifies the person or the person’s minor child as such physician’s patient and identifies the patient’s debilitating medical condition. (K.S.A. 21-5706)

Possible Punishment

*Class B Violations are punishable by up to 180 days in the Johnson County Jail, however, most Class B Violations are eligible for probation

*Class A Violations are punishable by up to 365 days in the Johnson County Jail, however, most Class A Violations are eligible for probation

If you've been charged with Marijuana Possession in the Shawnee Municipal Court, what do you do?

First off you are already doing the right thing, you've identified that this is a problem and doing some research. Being charged with Marijuana possession isn't the end of the world but it has the potential to cause you some real problems. Anytime you have an unfamiliar problem it is best to gather information before you start trying to act. Reading the law that the police have claimed that you violated is a good place to start. That being said, the law can only tell you so much and often leads you to more questions. After you've reviewed the law read these commonly asked questions about marijuana possession. There is a huge body of caselaw on drug possession cases and how to fight them. After you've looked through the common questions, it's time to set up a meeting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, use the time with your lawyer to ask questions to fill in the knowledge gaps you may have about the law. The most important information you can solicit from your lawyer is to ask about their experience in the Shawnee Municipal Court, often knowing the people and personalities that are in the court is just as important as knowing the law on a particular subject.