Issue of marijuana and fentanyl strips still being discussed in Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The marijuana discussion is once again at the forefront of the Wichita City Council.
"The community has voted when it comes to marijuana and THC products," said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple.
Mayor Whipple is talking about in 2014 when the city put decriminalizing marijuana up for a public vote, and it passed. but before it became law, the attorney general shut it down saying the city doesn't have the authority to go against state law.
"We can do more than what state law says, but we can't do less than what state law is," said City Council Member Jeff Blubaugh.
Blubaugh says that he is on the fence about it all. City lawyers say what the city can legally do is direct the police department not to enforce marijuana violations.
It's the same discussion for fentanyl test strips, which are also illegal to have in Kansas. That is something that Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter addressed in May.
"We have told our deputies that if they come into contact with those fentanyl strips, to just make a case on it, a suspect case, send it into the detectives and then we'll follow up on it with the DHS office," Easter said. "If they would even want to charge something like that. We're not going to arrest them and book people for those things."
City Attorneys are worried that not enforcing possession of marijuana and fentanyl test strips might put federal grant money for the police department at risk because some grants may require it to be in compliance with state law.
On Tuesday, Wichita City Council agreed there are just too many questions left unanswered to be able to vote on the issue yet.
"We've asked for it to be workshopped and sooner than later, just so that we have a better understanding," Blubaugh said. "This is a very fluid situation a very fluid problem. And we need to understand all the facts so that at our level, at least we can be good policymakers."