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Douglas County DA says no criminal charges for simple marijuana possession

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson says his office will no longer file criminal cases for simple marijuana possession.

Branson said Thursday that Douglas County citizens should not be criminally charged when citizens in Lawrence and surrounding communities face little or no penalty in such cases.  He said he hopes the decision will allow county courts and law enforcement to focus on more serious issues.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Lawrence city officials this year reduced fines to $1 for first and second convictions for marijuana possession, for people 18 and with 32 grams or less of marijuana.  The city did not change municipal court fines for drug paraphernalia possession, and additional court and diversion costs could still apply.

Possession is still illegal in most Kansas communities, and under state and federal law.

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