A group of Kansas senators heard testimonies from citizens on both sides regarding a bill that would reduce penalties for cannabis possession in the state.
The bill, debated before the Kansas Senate’s Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, met with opposition from several individuals who claimed that the bill did not go far enough in addressing particular ailments.
One of the dissenters, Navy veteran Raymond Schwab, offered tearful testimony in which he stated that the bill was “not enough” to allow him to curb the effects of his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the use of cannabis. Schwab attempted last year to move to Colorado in order to gain access to medical cannabis to treat his PTSD, a move that led to the state of Kansas confiscating his children.
Other opponents of the measure offered testimony, saying that a broader bill would not only address other medical conditions –including depression and chronic pain— but also aid in weaning medical patients off of prescription drugs.
Dissenters to the bill were met with opposition from law enforcement representatives, who oppose the measure as is and bemoaned the prospect of a broadening of medical cannabis laws.
“These bills tend to be a precursor to the broader legalization of marijuana,”
said Ed Klumpp, a Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police lobbyist.
The committee chairman, state Sen. Greg Smith (R-Overland Park), said that the bill would continue to be debated this week.