Lawmakers on Monday introduced the Kansas Compassion and Care Act, which would make growing, selling, buying and smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes legal under state law.
“Legalizing medical marijuana in the state will not only allow those with debilitating conditions an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, but will also help lower the amount of people that have to turn to the black market to obtain their medicine,” said Kyle Norton, director of Johnson County NORML
House Bill 2330 has been referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Services for consideration and debate. Under this measure, patients with certain debilitating conditions would be able to use medical cannabis without fear of reprisal under state law, reports JoCo NORML
The bill would also protect patients’ rights as employees, tenants, and parents. A patient registry system would be established, along with nonprofit care centers and a board to oversee the entire program.
Under the language of the bill, a “qualified patient” is defined as someone with a physician’s recommendation that medical cannabis will help their qualifying condition. “Qualifying conditions” are defined as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation accompanying Alzheimer’s disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions; or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia, wasting, severe pain, severe nausea, or seizures; and “any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department, as provided by further amendments.”
The bill would allow patients to cultivate 12 seedlings and six mature cannabis plants. Patients could legally possess up to six ounces of usable, harvested cannabis. Grow sites would be enclosed and secure, and would not be within 500 feet of pre-existing schools.
HB 2330 would protect patients who show positive for marijuana use in employment drug tests, providing they were not medicating on the job or it affected their job performance.
“The bill is introduced every so often and dies the same death every time, thanks to Republicans’ stronghold in the state Legislature,” wrote Joe Tone at the Kansas City Pitch
. “Too bad — with Denver’s program still in its infancy, that city alone raised more than $2 million in local sales tax revenue in 2010, while making the city noticeably more mellow, man.”
“Given the results of the last election, the overwhelming fiscal problems faced by the Kansas Legislature, and the late introduction of this bill, the likelihood of its advancement during this session seems limited at best,” wrote the Kansas Medical Cannabis Network
, the state chapter of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis.
“Meanwhile, it is more critical than ever that we continue to let our lawmakers know there is significant support for medical cannabis among their constituents,” the organization said. “We must send them this message loudly and clearly — but respectfully above all. If you receive a positive response from your representative or senator, please let us know so we can thank them and vote for them.”
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