2016 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt releases report on Colorado marijuana in Kansas

Release Date: Oct 10, 2016
Map of counties that reported cases of Colorado marijuana 
The map above depicts in green those counties where a survey respondent reported the presence of Colorado marijuana. The counties in white either did not respond to the survey or reported no verifiable Colorado marijuana.

TOPEKA – (October 10, 2016) – The Kansas attorney general’s office today published a new report that shows marijuana from Colorado has permeated nearly all parts of Kansas, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

The report also shows that Colorado’s decision to “legalize” marijuana has resulted in a sharp increase in the availability of marijuana-laced “edibles” in Kansas, a phenomenon rarely encountered here before the Colorado experiment.

Since Colorado changed its state law to allow recreational as well as medical use of marijuana, persistent anecdotal reports from law enforcement agencies in Kansas had suggested Colorado marijuana was readily flowing into Kansas despite assurances that federal authorities would exercise their authority to prevent Colorado marijuana from flowing into nearby states where it remains illegal. But solid data about the extent of the problem was unavailable.

In December 2015, Schmidt exercised his authority under Kansas law to gather information from local law enforcement officials and began surveying all county and district attorneys, sheriffs and police departments in the state about their specific experiences with marijuana coming from Colorado. The information provided by 320 responding law enforcement agencies and 70 prosecutors’ offices is compiled in the report released today.

“This report provides the first data-based snapshot of the specific effects Colorado’s experiment in ‘legalization’ is having in Kansas,” Schmidt said. “I hope this information will serve to better inform policy discussions and debates. Whatever one’s views on the merits of Colorado’s choice to ‘legalize’ and on the federal government’s decision to look the other way despite the commands of federal law, it is clear that decisions made in Colorado and Washington, D.C., are having a significant effect in Kansas.”

The report summarizes its findings as follows:

The survey responses demonstrate that Colorado marijuana is prevalent in Kansas. While some jurisdictions reported an increase in overall levels of marijuana crimes, the major effect of Colorado marijuana ‘legalization’ appears to be that high grade marijuana from Colorado has to a large extent replaced lower grade marijuana from Mexico and home grown marijuana. Numerous jurisdictions also reported a significant rise in the availability of marijuana edibles and other marijuana products, such as waxes and oils, originating from Colorado.

A copy of the report is available on the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov/survey-results. That site also links to the raw information collected from the responding law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.