All states regulate and control the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for illegal possession. Kansas classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
This article discusses the illegal CDS possession only. Illegally making or selling CDS carries different penalties. For more information CDS manufacture and sale, see Sale of Controlled Substances in Kansas.
Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover Kansas’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see Kansas Marijuana Laws.
Kansas divides CDS into five “Schedules”. Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses.
If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS possession, you’ll need to consult the Kansas Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (Ks. Stat. Ann. § 65-4105, -4107, -4109, -4111, & -4113.) and find the substance you're charged with possessing -- it will be listed under one of the five schedules.
It is illegal in Kansas to possess CDS without a valid medical prescription. Penalties vary according to the type of CDS involved.
In Kansas, judges determine applicable prison terms based on a the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines, a grid that takes both the offense and the defendant’s criminal history into account. Because of this, the applicable fines are listed below, but the prison terms for felonies are not, since they vary so widely based on the defendant’s personal criminal history. (Ks. Stat. Ann. § 21-5705.)
It is a class A nonperson misdemeanor to possess any Schedule I CDS; depressants listed in Schedules I, II, III, and IV; stimulants listed in Schedules I, II, and III; hallucinogenic CDS listed in Schedules I, II, or III; anabolic steroids listed in Schedule III; or other specified CDS listed in Schedules II, III, and IV. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
However, if the defendant has one prior conviction, the offense is a level 4 felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $100,000, prison time, or both.
It is a level 4 felony to possess opiates, narcotics, or stimulants listed in Schedule II. Penalties include a fine of up to $100,000, prison time, or both.
It is a class A nonperson misdemeanor to illegally possess any Schedule V CDS. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
It is a level 2 felony to possess CDS precursors -- substances used to manufacture CDS -- with the intent to use them in making a CDS. These substances include ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus, lithium metal, sodium metal, iodine, anhydrous ammonia, pressurized ammonia or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers. Penalties include a fine of up to $300,000, prison time, or both.
It is a level 4 felony to possess anhydrous ammonia or pressurized ammonia in a container not approved for storing those substances by the Kansas department of agriculture. Penalties include a fine of up to $100,000, prison time, or both.
CDS possession convictions can incur harsh fines and long periods of incarceration (usually several years or more). A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.