Kansas lawmakers reject lower penalties on pot possession

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that more women are smoking pot while they're pregnant. (MGN)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas legislators aren't ready to declare that marijuana possession never should be a felony.

A House committee rejected proposals Monday to lower penalties for third-time offenders and to release others from prison. The Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee voted 7-4 against a bill to make possessing marijuana a misdemeanor, no matter how many times someone was convicted.

Current Kansas law says a third conviction is a felony punishable by up to 14 months in prison, though offenders often receive probation. The bill also initially said offenders now in prison for marijuana possession would be released, but the committee removed that provision.