WICHITA – It’s still illegal. Even if the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration moves forward with reclassifying marijuana to make it considered a less serious drug, some point out this will not immediately make weed legal on the state or even federal levels.

“Today’s reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III substance makes good sense. Right now, it’s lumped in with heroin and LSD as a substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use,” said KSN legal analyst Dan Monnat. “On the other hand, in the modern world, we know it has a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or Schedule II substances, and it has accepted medical uses.”

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Monnat points out this is only a reclassification by one part of the federal government, the DEA, and it’s not a done deal yet. He also says existing drug convictions will still stand.

“It’s important to remember what has been recommended today has been reclassification,” said Monnat. “However, even if reclassified, this is not going to throw open the doors of the penitentiary.”

Law enforcement says marijuana will still be illegal in Kansas.

“That’s still illegal here, so them changing it to a Class I or Schedule I doesn’t make it legal to use any time you want,” said Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter. “It’s still illegal here in the State of Kansas. So I really don’t see any changes to it. You know, most of the marijuana we get here is the high-grade marijuana coming out of Colorado or Oklahoma, which is the black market. It’s not like it’s being sold legally there, either. That’s the black market stuff that’s coming here in hundreds of pounds.”

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Sheriff Easter says the concern with many law enforcement officers remains the strength of the marijuana being sold on the streets. He says many of the “vape pens” containing marijuana will have a THC content as high as 90%.

“The folks that want to see this stuff passed and the medical marijuana and those types of things, they don’t see the back side of what we see every day. Whether you legalize it or not, we are still going to have drug addicts, robberies, and shootings over it because you are still selling it illegally. And what we’ve seen in these other states is those crimes have gone up. In my opinion it comes down to marijuana is somewhat, I get the argument, is like alcohol especially the old kind of marijuana. Is alcohol addictive? Yes, it is. And so what you’re trying to introduce here is another addictive drug that could be detrimental to society,” said Sheriff Easter.

See the full story at KSN.com