The state House Federal and State Affairs Committee prepares to move forward with House Bill 2184, which would legalize medical marijuana in Kansas.
GOP Support for Medical Cannabis
As marijuana activism continues to grow in the U.S., more states are starting to feel the pressure for drug reform. This starts with cannabis. Medical marijuana is becoming a bipartisan issue, and that’s simply a fact. Medical marijuana users, who range from children with seizures to war veterans with PTSD, are making their voices heard to Kansas lawmakers about the benefits of this drug. With enough people coming forward to support medical marijuana, Kansans just might get what they deserve.
One of the veterans who spoke was Todd Scattini. He claimed marijuana has minimized the chronic pain he still experiences from military drills and helped with his night terrors. “There’s a lot of survivor’s guilt and I suffer from that as well. A lot of people spend their time asking, ‘Why did my buddy go, who was a way better person than me, and I’m still here?’ So there’s a lot of nightmares and anxiety and depression, bad dreams and negative thoughts that take place.”
These stories show those in power how marijuana can greatly improve the lives of many people with the stroke of a pen. Representative Randy Garber, who is a social conservative Republican, said, “I understand the law enforcement’s concerts, I really do. But what is our job? In my opinion, as a legislator, it is to help the people of Kansas, and I believe this medical marijuana does help people in need.” This didn’t stop anti-marijuana groups from pressuring lawmakers, but it’s a step in the right direction.
What is in the Medical Marijuana Bill for Kansas?
While it’s a major win for GOP lawmakers supporting this bill, there are some concerns when it comes to thinking about the patients. For example, this bill prevents smokeable and vape products from being put on the shelf, due to health and public consumption concerns. This inhalation prohibition is not only wrong but harmful for patients who seek immediate relief. There are some groups in the Kansas Cannabis Coalition, however, who are trying to remove the inhalation ban.
Inhalation isn’t the only restriction in the bill; if it were to pass, it would also prevent patients from cultivating marijuana at home. When asked about this restriction, Co-director of KS NORML George Hanna said, “We wanted to open up a dialogue and get it in the middle somewhere.” As rough as not allowing patients to grow sounds, it’s not uncommon amongst more conservative states.”
Lisa Sublett, who has been fighting for legalization for years, described how this bill is helpful for those with family members who might suffer from qualifiable conditions. Sublett is the co-founder of Bleeding Kansas, a group that also wants to help people in prison with non-violent marijuana charges. “We can stop sending patients to prison. What will happen is that some people will be able to go back to work for the first time in many years… People will get their quality of life back.”
As we all eagerly await for the bill to go to the House floor for a vote, we want to encourage our readers to help spread information. If you have friends who are uneducated on marijuana, this is the perfect site in which to direct them!
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