After Receiving National Attention, Groups in Kansas Push Lawmakers to Legalize Marijuana!

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After national spotlight, Kansas groups urge lawmakers to legalize marijuana

Groups from all around Kansas will be converging to the Statehouse to encourage lawmakers to legalize marijuana after the state received global attention after police fined a cancer patient for using the drug to relieve his symptoms.

The ACLU of Kansas has announced that on February 22nd, from 10 to 11 a.m., groups from all around the Sunflower State will gather at the Kansas Statehouse for a Medical Marijuana Day of Action. In 2023, they will urge Congress to swiftly pass legislation legalizing medical marijuana.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said that Kansans will speak out about how the drug ban has hurt their access to healthcare and reduced their quality of life, making it more difficult for them to cope with chronic pain and other symptoms of their conditions.

The group pointed out that many sick people in Kansas can’t legally acquire the drug their doctors have determined works best for them, and affected Kansans will talk about how the government has become a barrier to getting medical care.

Patients with terminal diseases, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or cancer patients, may receive relief from their symptoms with medical marijuana.

Other speakers include Barry Grissom, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, and Sharon Brett, Legal Director for the ACLU of Kansas.

The two will talk about how criminalization affects persons with legitimate medical requirements, how it restricts the opportunities of small business owners, and how it contributes to unconstitutional outcomes.

According to the group, Kansas is one of just three jurisdictions where cannabis use is still illegal, even for medical users. There has been a movement in public perception about marijuana, away from the false information spread during the War on Drugs era and towards recognition of its usage on a national and state level.

Around 68% of Americans backed legalization in a 2021 survey, with majorities across all political affiliations (including 83% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 50% of Republicans) in favor.

The ACLU also pointed out that in December, a terminally ill Kansas man’s room was raided by authorities in Hays after staff members claimed that the guy was using a vape pen and THC paste to alleviate the symptoms of the latter stages of incurable cancer.

Even though the misdemeanor charge was dropped without a fight, the episode served to reopen the debate.

The group asserts that racial injustice is exacerbated by the legalization of marijuana in Kansas. According to the report, Black Kansans have felt the brunt of criminalization because the state had the 12th biggest racial disparity in arrest rates for marijuana possession in 2018. And it also stated that in 2018, Black Kansans were 4.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than White Kansans.

Finally, the group argued that millions of dollars could be collected if the medication was legally available, regulated, and taxed fairly. It was projected that by fostering an ethical and environmentally friendly industry, Kansas might generate millions of dollars in cash to fund critical services like roads, schools, and safety.

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22nd, the group will meet in Topeka, Kansas, in the south wing of the first floor of the Kansas Statehouse at SW 8th and Van Buren.

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