56 Percent of Kansas City Voters Support Marijuana Decriminalization

NORML KC placed Question 5 on the April 4th ballot.

A poll of likely Kansas City, Missouri, voters just released by Remington Research Group shows 56% support for the Question 5 marijuana decriminalization measure on the April 4th ballot. While these mid-year, non-presidential elections can be tricky for cannabis reformers, as young people are less likely to vote, the Remington survey shows that Question 5 has a great chance of passing.

Born and raised in the small town of Lexington, about an hour from KC, I have been watching intently the progress NORML KC has had placing a marijuana decriminalization measure on the ballot. It is hard work and extremely difficult placing a marijuana measure on the ballot with adequate funding. It is rather remarkable that NORML KC has qualified Question 5 with a purely volunteer effort, without any outside funding.

Some amount of marijuana has already been decriminalized in Columbia and St. Louis, so Kansas City won’t be moving beyond what some other Missouri communities have already done. Additionally, marijuana has been decriminalized in other cities such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Toledo, Ohio, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania From what I understand, the sky hasn’t fallen in cities that have decriminalized cannabis, just as it hasn’t in locales that have legalized cannabis like Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital.

With a violent crime epidemic raging in Kansas City, it is clear that law enforcement should spend its time combating serious crimes and not wasting time on arresting and jailing nonviolent marijuana users. While Chicago has made headlines for its alarming murder rate, Kansas City’s homicide rate is nearly just as high.

Ending the arrest and prosecution of minor marijuana offenders possessing up to 35 grams in Kansas City is a good step in the right direction for the Midwest city, to better allocate resources and improve the lives of its citizens. Legalizing and regulating cannabis is ultimately needed, but it will take the conservative state of Missouri a few years to get there. Passing Question 5 will help eliminate some of the harm of the racist and unjust War on Cannabis.

While Black residents make up 30% of Kansas City’s population, they account for about 70% of marijuana prosecutions. Cannabis prohibition, like all Drug War policies, disproportionately hurt people of color. A “YES” vote on Question 5 will help alleviate some of the harm caused of cannabis prohibition in Missouri and will help set the stage for future reforms statewide.

Anthony Johnson
About Anthony Johnson 125 Articles
Anthony Johnson, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, is the director of New Approach Oregon, working to effectively implement the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature, before regulatory bodies,and at city councils and county commissions across the state.He was proud to work as Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort and director of the Vote Yes on 91 PAC, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. He also advises cannabis entrepreneurs on how to comply with Oregon's laws and helps organize the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference. Anthony's blogs on are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization. You can see his work here at WeedNews.co as well as MarijuanaPolitics.com.