February 4, 2010

Medical Marijuana Coming To Kansas?

February 4, 2010

One of the most conservative states in the US is considering medical marijuana legislation (see the link). A Kansas legislator has introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana for people suffering from chronic diseases, such as Parkinson’s, cancer, HIV, and AIDS. A Democrat from Wichita, Representative Gail Finney, introduced the bill, which would include a dispensary system. “I just think it’s the right thing to do,” said Finney.

As expected, the other side was quick to shoot down the bill. Representative Scoot Schwab, a Republican from Olathe opposed the plan and stated, “Let’s be honest, this would be an attempt to legalize marijuana. It has no benefit for pain management. All it does is make you crave another bag of chips.”

Bob Stephan, a former Kansas State Attorney General, said he expects legislators to approve medical marijuana after they realize it won’t hurt them politically. “For some reason marijuana just drives people up the wall,” he said. “It’s OK to have morphine and every drug known to man-some with just awful side effects. But not marijuana.”

This bill is essentially dead in the water until there is a hearing scheduled. The Speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives is responsible for scheduling such hearings. Considering the fact that the Speaker is Mike O’Neal, a staunch Republican, I wouldn’t hold my breath. But then again, I never thought there would be a Democrat in Kansas in this century, so I guess anything is possible…KUDOS TO GAIL FINNEY!!



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