- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas House has approved a measure that would decrease penalties for marijuana possession, allow the limited use of medical marijuana and study the use of industrial hemp.

House members voted 81-36 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate for consideration.

First- and second-time marijuana offenders without serious prior convictions would avoid jail time under the bill. That would decrease the population in the state’s overcrowded prisons and save more than $1.7 million over the next two fiscal years, according to state estimates.

Two amendments to the bill also would legalize the sale and production of hemp oil for seizure treatments and initiate a state study into industrial hemp.

Opponents say they’re worried that the bill would open the door to wider marijuana legalization.

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