Introduction of a bill by Senator David Haley in the Kansas State Senate would legalize cannabis for specific medical purposes. Passage would reverse state law and stop state prosecutions for possession by those with a medical prescription.
SB 9 would amend Kansas Codes concerning cannabis. The text of the bill simply states that it is:
“AN ACT enacting the cannabis compassion and care act; providing for the legal use of cannabis for certain debilitating medical conditions; providing for the registration and functions of compassion centers; authorizing the issuance of identification cards; establishing the compassion board; providing for administration of the act by the department of health and environment; amending K.S.A. 79-5210 and repealing the existing section.”
Haley has stated it’s an issue of basic compassion. “This becomes a pretty common-sense approach to that, especially when the alternative is to crowd our jails and prisons with people who only wanted to alleviate personal pain,” he says. The bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for conditions including glaucoma, hepatitis C, and pain and nausea associated with cancer treatment.
Since the federal government relies heavily on the sates to enforce their laws and regulations this bill through non-compliance would effectively nullify federal marijuana laws.
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled against medical marijuana in the states in the case Gonzalez vs Raich. The attorneys general of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, three strongly anti-drug states from the usually conservative South, filed a brief supporting Raich on the grounds of states’ rights. Already, 18 states have marijuana laws on the books – 2 of which are full legalization and not just for medical purposes – leading to an effective nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and regulations on that plant.
While federal agencies still make arrests and prosecutions, the number they have the manpower to carry out are becoming minute in comparison to the many who act without ever running in to federal trouble. The fact of the matter is this – the federal government simply doesn’t have the resources to handle 18 states defying them. And, each new state that joins them makes the house of cards that is the unconstitutional federal war on weed – that much closer to full collapse.
A section from this bill reads:
“Data from the federal bureau of investigation’s uniform crime reports and the compendium of federal justice statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 cannabis arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill patients who have a medical need to use cannabis.”
The bill goes on to state that physician would not be subject to arrest or in any other penalized for prescribing marijuana, nor would caregivers that help those with a valid prescription for the medical use of marijuana.
“State law should make a distinction between the medical and nonmedical uses of cannabis. Hence, the purpose of this act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of cannabis.”
If you live in Kansas, contact your state legislator. Let him or her know of your concern over the federal governments continued usurpation of state powers and that you feel that this is a state matter and should be addressed by the citizens of the state and that you expect their support of this legislation. Click here for House contact information and here for the Senate.
If you live outside of Kansas, still contact your state legislator. Inform him or her that you hope similar legislation will be introduced in your state.
Track the status of state marijuana laws around the country HERE