Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is urging the community to put pressure on lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis in her state.
While an affirmative defense against prosecution for possession of certain CBD products containing THC in specific circumstances exists in Kansas, the state doesn’t have an official medical cannabis program.
Another attempt to legalize medical marijuana was thwarted by some lawmakers last week, with a related bill stalling in the legislature. It seems dissenting senators were swayed by testimony from law enforcement representatives expressing concern about various issues including allegedly cannabis-linked violent crime.
Governor Kelly, who earlier this year pushed for legalization in her 2023 State of the State address, was not impressed by last Thursday’s proceedings.
“I am disappointed that some legislators are saying they don’t want to move forward with legalizing medical marijuana this year – effectively turning their backs on our veterans and those with chronic pain and seizure disorders,” Governor Kelly tweeted. “If they get their way, for yet another year thousands of Kansans will be forced to choose between breaking the law and living without pain.”
Governor Kelly wants people power to apply the pressure needed to get legislation over the line.
“I encourage Kansans to call their state legislators and tell them to legalize medical marijuana this session,” she stated.
Kansas Democrats weighed in on the situation, stating:
“The sky is not falling in states where legalized, well-regulated medical marijuana is on the books. All Kansans, and especially Kansas veterans, deserve compassionate, forward-thinking laws that improve their quality of life.”
Now in her second term as the 48th Governor of Kansas after being re-elected in January this year, Governor Kelly has long fought for medical cannabis legalisation. She is responsible for what little legal protection is available in the state after signing the affirmative defense into law back in 2019. But there’s been little to no progress since, which has been a source of great frustration for the governor.
After Thursday’s vote, hopes are rapidly fading for medical marijuana being legalised in 2023 – with Kansas to remain one of the few holdout states remaining in the USA.