Kansas could (finally) be welcoming legal weed in 2020

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Kansas could (finally) be welcoming legal weed in 2020

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The people of Kansas are urging lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis. Next year, it is likely that the pleas of Kansans’ will be heard and, hopefully, something done about the lack of access to cannabis-based medicines in the state.

On Wednesday, October 23, a legislative committee formed to listen in on the issue. The committee weighed up testimony from over two dozen individuals and groups advocating legal medical cannabis in Kansas; testimony was received in the form of written and oral support.

“There are a lot of citizens saying ‘we do want this,’” Nick Reinecker announced to the committee. He previously served as a Republican political candidate.

Supporters of cannabis legalization in Kansas ranged from activist groups and professors to nurses and their patients. A number of them explained how they currently use cannabis to ease the symptoms of various types of disease and chronic pain.

Law enforcement officials testified in opposition of medical cannabis in Kansas

At Kansas’ recent medical cannabis hearing – which was attended by numerous law enforcement officials – testimony was put forward by lawmakers opposing the idea of legalization. 

The majority of lawmakers argued that legalization of the plant and its derivatives may lead to legal predicaments. One law enforcement official even went as far as to liken medicinal-grade cannabis oil to “snake oil”.

In spite of their disapproval, lawmakers in Kansas cannot ignore the fact that patients statewide and beyond are reliant on plant-based medicines, such as oils enriched with the non-psychoactive compound CBD (cannabidiol) and the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Kansas’ lawmakers may also want to consider the fact that, as of November 2019, medical cannabis legalization has already spread across 33 U.S. states and Washington D.C. Legalization is bringing much-needed revenue to these states and is providing patients with easier access to their medicine.

Nonetheless, further research into the safety and efficacy of cannabis as a treatment is required to change the federal government’s strict stance on weed.

Lawmakwers likely to welcome medical cannabis in Kansas by early 2020

Voters on three of Kansas’ borders have demonstrated ongoing support for medical cannabis. Regardless, patients are still lacking access to their medicine.

On a more positive note, a “well-regulated” cannabis program has been supported by Gov. Laura Kelly. Legalization that would form a “cannabis compliance agency” was brought to lawmakers’ attention in early 2019; the agency would be responsible for providing industry oversight.

If lawmakers are smart and notice the potential in legalizing medical cannabis in Kansas – not just for patients but also for the state’s economy – there’s a good chance that they will approach legalization with an open mind.

With growing acceptance for legal medical cannabis in Kansas from local state residents, lawmakers will need to accommodate sooner or later.