Is Kansas Ready to Embrace Medical Marijuana?

February 9, 2010 – Kansas was the first state to embrace alcohol prohibition, and one of the last to end it.
Now, could it become the 15th to pass medical marijuana? Yesterday, Kansas state Representative Gail Finney (D-Wichita) introduced a medical marijuana bill.

Finney suffers from lupus, which makes her sympathetic to those with diseases such as cancer and HIV, and Finney thinks the chronically ill should be allowed to use the medicine that works best for them without having to fear being arrested or thrown in jail. Her bill would set up state-registered “compassionate care centers,” where those with recommendations from doctors could safely obtain marijuana for the treatment of pain or a debilitating illness. Finney’s bill also makes sure the money generated from medical marijuana stays in Kansas by requiring that the marijuana be grown in the Sunflower State.

However, not all Kansas lawmakers are as informed and compassionate as Rep. Finney. Rep. Scott Schwab (R-Olathe) says that marijuana “has no benefit for pain management,” and that, “all it does is make you crave another bag of chips.” Mr. Schwab should do his homework before he speaks. It’s not theory that marijuana is medicine; it’s fact, backed by 5,000 years of recorded history. Research has shown that marijuana relieves symptoms like nausea, appetite loss, muscle spasms, and certain types of pain. This evidence has been acknowledged by the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, and many other reputable health organizations.

Will the rest of the nation follow Kansas’ lead? We sure hope so.

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