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Crime and Courts

ACLU Poll: Most Kansans Favor Reducing Penalties For Nonviolent Drug Possession

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

A huge majority of Kansans say that the penalties for most nonviolent drug possession crimes should be reduced.

The ACLU poll shows that 86 percent of Kansans either strongly support, or somewhat support, reducing all nonviolent drug possession from felonies to misdemeanors as a way to reduce the prison population in the state.

Kansas prisons are at about 101 percent capacity, and six out of ten respondents say they would rather reduce the population rather than build new prisons.

Kansas ACLU executive director Micha Kubic says these types of reforms have support from both conservatives and progressives.

“That shows us that something is amiss," Kubic says. "That the system needs reform, and this poll shows that a majority of Kansans agree with that.”

But state Rep. John Rubin, a conservative Republican from Shawnee, says while he has backed reducing marijuana possession penalties, he’s skeptical of reducing penalties for all nonviolent drug possession.