Police can take money, cars and other property from Kansans through a process called civil asset forfeiture. Police say it’s a tool that stops criminals. But opponents say law enforcement takes too much.
Federal prosecutors in Kansas have given up their effort to retain cash seized from a van carrying the proceeds of legal marijuana sales in Kansas City, Missouri.
A push for more accountability from Kansas law enforcement agencies that seize cash, cars and contraband — often without filing criminal charges against the owner — has generated a wealth of new information. But the numbers often don’t add up.
Police can keep seized property “as long as necessary,” state statute says, if they believe it could be evidence in a trial. A proposed change to state law would require police to give items back.
Legal experts are scratching their heads over a case that implicates a murky area of the law governing when legal marijuana businesses can be prosecuted in states where marijuana is still not legal.
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