KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- There's a lot of confusion when it comes to marijuana policies. City and state governments are trying to balance their decriminalization efforts with federal laws under which pot is still illegal.
On Friday, however, Mayor Quinton Lucas suggested an idea that he said would simplify things in KC.
Jack Mitchell is one of many entrepreneurs with a pending application for a marijuana production operation in the metro. His company has been preparing warehouse space for weeks.
Attitudes are shifting when it comes to cannabis. Mitchell is one of many who believes widespread legalization isn't far off.
“It's education and experience,” he said. “You have to assume it's coming and that's sort of been the trend and I don't see it going the other way.”
Until then, there's a lot of ambiguity in the law. In KCMO, you can have 35 grams without penalty. The council is considering raising that to 100 grams.
However, this morning, Mayor Lucas posted another idea on Facebook and suggested taking marijuana offenses off the city code entirely.
“What I'm saying is our municipal court and prosecutors and public defense -- we want them focusing on other issues and priorities in Kansas City,” he said.
Kansas City spans multiple counties that each have their own rules. Lucas believes his idea would help simplify enforcement.
“What we're saying is, ‘What court would you have to deal with it in?’” he said. “In municipal court, we have big public safety issues to address.”
In 2010, the city drug court handed down nearly 900 marijuana citations. That number has dropped every year, though. This year, the city only had 115 as of June.
KCPD Spokesperson Tim Hernandez said that if the city removed marijuana offenses altogether, there'd be no city codes to enforce. However, police could still make an arrest for violations of state and federal laws.
“Our job is to enforce all the ordinances set in place by city, state, and federal agencies,” he said. “It's not our place to pick and choose which ordinances we're going to enforce.”
In other words, using or possessing pot could still be a crime but just not a city offense.