By BECKY KISER
Calling it “not a big change but an unusual change,” Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler reviewed the update to marijuana laws in Kansas regarding CBD oil containing THC for city commissioners last week.
The change is in the 2019 Uniform Public Offense Code (UPOC) which is revised and published annually by the Kansas League of Municipalities for adoption by cities in the state.
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient in marijuana.
“The change in the law creates an affirmative defense for those being treated by a doctor and receiving CBD oil of up to 5% THC,” Scheibler explained.
“A person in possession of CBD oil with no more than 5% THC that has been prescribed by a doctor will not be found guilty in this section (of the UPOC) if the person or their minor child has a debilitating medical condition and is being treated by a doctor for the illness with CBD oil.”
The person must also have in their possession a letter written within the last 15 months from a Kansas doctor which says the person/minor child has a debilitating condition and is being treated with CBD oil. The letter must be shown to law enforcement when requested.
“If they do all those things and they’re arrested and charged, when they go to trial they’ll be found not guilty. This change in the law allows a person to use prescribed medical treatment using CBD oil without being convicted of a crime.”
Other changes noted by Scheibler are current laws moved into the UPOC for 2019.
- Unlawful interference with EMS/medical service attendants
“Where we see this is sometimes at large parties and somebody is injured. People want to interfere and assist and help.”
- Possession of a firearm while under the influence
“This is one we actually see quite a bit. This law prohibits a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs to carry a loaded firearm or to have it in their immediate access while in a vehicle. We see it on DUIs. We’ve arrested a person for DUI and they’ve got a loaded handgun underneath the seat, or in the door, or in the console. This law prohibits them from doing that.
“Prior to this being moved into UPOC, we’d have to charge those people through District Court because we still had that in the ordinance for the city, so I’m happy to see this one in there.”
Scheibler noted the law does not apply to a person who possesses a firearm in their own home, their business, or on their own property.
A change to the 2019 Standard Traffic Ordinance for Kansas addresses driver’s licenses in possession of the driver.
According to Scheibler the law was changed because law officers across the country are experiencing incidents of drivers refusing to hand over their license to the officer, claiming the law only required them to display it.
“This change now clearly states the law requires the driver to promptly deliver the license to the officer when requested.
Scheibler says it’s an officer safety issue.
“One of the most dangerous things the officers do is a traffic stop. And the longer they’re out there on the traffic stop alongside the road with semi-trucks going on the backside of them, arguing with people about whether or not they’re getting the driver’s license, the more danger there is to the officer.
“I’m happy to see this change.”
City commissioners will consider adopting the 2019 Uniform Public Office Code and 2019 Standard Traffic Ordinance at their meeting tonight.
Other agenda items include consideration of bid awards:
- Replacement of the 1993 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Air Compressor System used by the Hays Fire Department. Staff recommends the proposal from Air and Fire Systems, Salina, for $37,954.
- Construction of concrete cart paths on the Back 9 of the Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course. The low bid of $48,675 is from J Corp, Hays. The asphalt cart paths on the Back 9 were installed in 1998 and have deteriorated.
The Aug. 22 agenda is available here.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in Hays City Hall, 1507 Main.