All Kansas Cities

Battle Lines for Medical Marijuana

You don’t have to look far to see the medical marijuana debate here in Kansas, it’s as close as our newspapers and editorial columns.

The end of September, the Topeka Capital-Journal ran a story about a rally at the capital in support of medical marijuana. It mentions a press release stating the rally was meant, “to raise awareness of the plight of patients in Kansas, to inform Kansans on the status of the current bills and to encourage Kansans to communicate their support of the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act to their representatives.”

And the comments online were largely supportive. However, this article was quickly followed by three letters to the editor, one published on October 5th, and two on the 9th.

Pot Not Harmless
Don’t Legalize Pot
Pot Isn’t Medicine

All had a healthy number of comments, most in support of medical marijuana.

As Kansas citizens look around, we see 18 other states with medical marijuana laws (along with the District of Columbia) and two of those states moving toward full legalization. The writing is on the wall, at least for much of the country, many of whom think medical marijuana is here to stay. But in Kansas, the debate continues and is a lively one, especially in online forums, where people are anonymous and very vocal.

Will it come to Kansas? There are groups who would like to see a measure on the ballot, and there is both an economic and compassion-based push for it. However, reading the comments on these stories, the battle lines are clear, with some pushing marijuana as mostly harmless and very beneficial to those in need, while others cite addiction and worries about another mind-altering substance causing car crashes and infecting our youth. The “anti” camp claims that legalization of medical marijuana is just a ploy to get weed in play, a step towards full legalization and one they want to avoid.

Meanwhile, our police continue to arrest dealers handling a ton or more of weed (two since September).

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