Law Enforcement Opposition Thwarts Moves To Legalize Pot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Strong opposition from law enforcement groups has contributed to Kansas lawmakers’ hesitation to legalize medicinal or recreational marijuana even as surrounding states have done so.

Neighboring states Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri have legalized some form of marijuana in recent years. Kansas is one of four states without a comprehensive medical or recreational marijuana program.

Many of the state’s law enforcement agencies and organizations say that even medical marijuana would increase car accidents and violent crime. They say marijuana is inherently tied to violence, especially from Mexican cartels.

Kansas lawmakers have introduced 18 medical marijuana bills since 2006. One got a hearing at the Statehouse this year, but it didn’t receive a vote after opposition from law enforcement.