Stoner Symphony

Kansas Medical Cannabis Legalization Efforts Blocked

Efforts to legalize medical cannabis in Kansas, one of the few remaining states where it remains illegal, have been thwarted for another year.

On Friday, Republican state senators voted by 25 votes to 12 to block plans to force a debate on medical cannabis, despite widespread public support, the Associated Press reported.

Republicans, which dominate the Senate by 29-11, have previously raised concerns about the explosive growth of the cannabis industry in its neighbouring Oklahoma following the legalization of medical cannabis in 2018, alleging that it led to a boom in the black market.

Cheryl Kumberg, a registered western Kansas nurse and president of the Kansas Cannabis Coalition, said Oklahoma’s problems stem from its lax law, and argued Kansas residents are already travelling to other states to treat their medical issues.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “I can go 45 minutes one way, a couple hours in the other direction, and you can just use it however you want.”

Democratic State Senator Cindy Holscher added: “Over the past three weeks, scores of Kansans have reached out to their senators voicing support for medical cannabis as they have done for nearly the past decade. Sadly, supporters have faced many hurdles on this important measure.”

Kansas remains one of only 12 US states to have not yet legalized cannabis for medical purposes.

Unlike other states, Kansas doesn’t allow voters to put proposed laws on the ballot statewide, meaning advocates will now have to wait until the next legislative session to put forward another cannabis reform bill.

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