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Medical Marijuana: A Push Gets Underway in Kansas

While state medical marijuana laws are in place along both coasts, not a single state from the Great Plains to the Appalachian Mountains has passed such a law. A voter initiative last year in South Dakota was narrowly defeated, and while legislative efforts in some Midwestern states, notably Illinois and Minnesota, have progressed, none have made it to a governor's desk. For medical marijuana, the Heartland might as well be the Empty Quarter.

Now, a Kansas drug reform activist and a prominent state politician are hoping to change that. Today, Laura Green of the Drug Policy Forum of Kansas and former Kansas Attorney General Bob Stephan are holding a press conference on the capitol steps in Topeka to announce the formation of the Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition, which will push to get a medical marijuana law in place in the Jayhawk State.

Stephan, a Republican who was attorney general from 1979 to 1995, came out of the closet as a medical marijuana supporter to local media this week, telling reporters he had supported legalizing the medicinal use of the herb for the past 20 years. His opinion was based on his own experience as a cancer patient, as well as talking to other cancer patients, he said.

"Our objectives are simple," said Green in a press release announcing the news conference and the new organization. "To allow physicians -- not politicians -- to make decisions about what is best for patients and to protect citizens from the risk of arrest simply because they're trying to gain relief from a major medical problem. No one should face the ordeal of arrest and possibly prison because they want to feel better," Green said. "That's why the Compassionate Care Coalition is working closely with state legislators, law enforcement officials, healthcare leaders and others to pass laws that will help our fellow Kansans in their time of need."

Look for a feature article on what's cooking in Kansas next week.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Stephan on Medical Marijuana

As Kansas Attorney General, Robert Stephan testified in support of medical marijuana before DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young in 1987. He was instrumental in securing a resolution on medical marijuana by the National Association of Attorneys General in 1983. His testimony, and the NAAG resolution can be found in the book, "Marijuana, Medicine and the Law", edited by Robert Randall.

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
844 Spruce St.
Trenton, NJ 08648
[email protected]

Good timing

Good timing by Stephan and Green to raise awareness and counter the positions of presidential candidate Republican Senator Brownback from Kansas. Looking forward to next week's feature on the Jayhawk State. Grow KCCC!


Kansas Medical Marijuana

As a life-long KS resident, I don't see my elected officials charging the laws regarding medical marijuana use. This state is way too conservative, unfortunately.

Heidi Weigand

Kansas med. marijuana

I hope that the laws here change.So many people could benifit from it. I have cvs syndrome and chronic pancretits. And have chronic pain and vomiting.My doctor said that he could not precribe me even the marinol(delta no 9 thc) to supress the nasue i suffer from everyday. And i encourage every1 i meet to join Ksccc.12 other states hav seen the benifits of these laws...we shold all look and learn.

Kansas med marijuana

I know several people that if med. marijuana was legalizes it would help there pain very much.It might even help me.

Marijuana legalization

I think they need to stop the drug war all together. They act like marijuana is this horrible drug that does bad things to people that use it, but they don't really just think about it first. Marijuana is made by god, it's not a man made grug like cocaine, meth or any of these other drugs. U cannot over dose it unless you consume 15 pounds in 15 minutes which is basically impossible. It doesn't really throw your thought process and believe me, I have done my research, and I have not seen a single death or accident caused by marijuana! Can you say the same about the things that are legal? Alcohol? Pain pills that doctors perscribe to patients? No you can't. There are so many cases of death caused by these things. I get so frustrated over this drug war because unless you've tried it, you don't know and those are the people that are against it, but they really don't know a damn thing about it! Marijuana is a plant grown with nothing added to it. There is no chemicals put into it. Think about it. All those people in jail for possession of marijuana could be resolved. Put people in jail that deserve to be in jail, not for what half of those people are in there for. Just end the drug war, legalize marijuana and see how much the world would change for the better. I agree with what someone else said on here, "sell it like cigarettes" or "add a hefty tax" people will buy it.

End our suffering, please.

As a child growing up in a house with a father who had crohn's disease I feel it would be foolish to pass up on something so simple that could have helped ease the inevitable pain that he would wake up to each and every day. The days we as a family had of him not in pain were remembered as the good days. His life is one I will always remember and if we have the chance finally to find a temporary solution to painful diseases, why watch your loved ones suffer?

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