Outrage and renewed calls to revisit the state’s draconian cannabis regulations have resulted after hospital workers in Kansas called the police on a man dying of cancer who was using cannabis products to cope with his symptoms. Midway through December, two Hays police officers allegedly visited the cancer patient in the hospital to cite him for a drug infraction.
The hospital staff had already confiscated the vaping equipment and the cannabis substance when the police arrived. During a rally, a woman raises her fist in a show of solidarity. The future of abortion availability in the United States after Roe v. Wade is uncertain.
Here are More Reports of the incident that sparked debate over the continued illegality of Cannabis in Kansas, one of the three US states that have not legalized the product in any context. The police department later canceled the citation, which would have forced the cancer patient to appear in court.
While the patient’s son Lee Bretz was relieved to hear the charges against his father were dismissed, he described the episode as humiliating and upsetting to his father. Bretz said his father, who is dying of an incurable form of illness, was given a “must appear” ticket for drug possession.
His presence in court is ruled impossible. It’s to the point where he can’t get out of bed. He is paralyzed from the waist down. His son stated of the responding police, “You’d think they would have shown a lot of compassion and not done anything.”
In spite of several attempts to reach a representative of the Hays Medical Center in Hays, Kansas, we have not heard back. At first, 69-year-old cancer sufferer Greg Bretz told a Wichita Eagle opinion columnist that he was “flat on my back” in his hospital bed and that he had been using a vaping device and eating some THC paste on bread to cope with the symptoms of his condition.
Since there were no medical therapies available to him beyond hospice care, he was informed it was fine “to do anything he wants if it makes him feel better,” he added. Hays police chief Don Scheibler said that on December 19 hospital staff contacted his department because a patient was vaping in his room,
which “they were concerned about as a potential fire hazard,” and also because the patient was in possession of THC, which is “illegal in the state of Kansas.” According to Scheibler, initial reports that police conducted a “Christmastime hospital-room raid” on the cancer patient were false. Say that with me: “We’re not conducting a raid.”
Scheibler claimed to have listened to the audio recording of the officers’ encounter with the patient in the hospital room, describing it as lasting “less than eight minutes” and characterizing the officers as “polite, courteous, respectful” despite dealing with an irate patient who was being cited for a drug violation and given a court date of January 26.
According to the police chief, the officer who originally gave the narcotics citation to the cancer patient had second thoughts and, after consulting with a supervisor, sent an email to the local prosecutor asking that he drop the charges.
Scheibler remarked that the public wants to see “compassion and empathy” from police enforcement. They independently decided to issue the citation and suggested it be dismissed. What happened wasn’t something that had recently been reported on.”
The police chief said that the municipal prosecutor had not seen the email about dropping the charges until after the incident involving the cops and the cancer patient had gone viral. The patient would not have to appear in court, since he was informed by him on December 27 that the police department was not pursuing the citation.
The Hays police chief claimed that over a hundred people have contacted or emailed the department in response to news coverage detailing the officer’s interactions with the cancer patient. Following the reported event, local media also stated that the hospital had received threats.
Police officers “don’t determine what the law is,” Scheibler emphasized. The topic of medical marijuana should be discussed, in my opinion. The patient’s son, Lee Bretz, expressed his support for medicinal marijuana legalization in Kansas. As he put it, “you’d do anything to see them not hurt, because nobody wants to watch their loved ones hurting.”