Every year since 2009, Sen. David Haley of Kansas City and Rep. Gail Finey of Wichita have introduced medical marijuana bills, but none have had any success going beyond informational hearings, where no real action can take place.
In 2016 Hayley thinks this could change, with news there will be public hearings held on his proposed medical marijuana bills.
“I think the ice is beginning to thaw regarding the reasonableness of the issue among the leadership of the Legislature.”
The chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, Rep. Dan Hawkins, has said he will wait for more information before giving his comments on SB9 and HB2011.
“Nobody’s come and really pushed it.” Dawkins said, adding he has not heard much from his constituents on the subject either. He continued, “I’ve got a lot of other things on my radar screen that are a lot more important.”
The goal of both measures, SB9 and HB2011, would be to create compassion centers (dispensaries) where qualifying patients with proper identification and program registration could obtain marijuana legally.
Informational hearings are scheduled for January 21 & 22 in the Senate’s Public Health and Welfare Committee to hear comments from supporters and opponents of the proposed bills.
Rep. Finey reported that most of the Republicans on the House Health and Human Services Committee claimed that they had other commitments and exited before testimony began at the first informational hearing for medical marijuana in 2010.
During the next attempt in 2012, the republican committee chair “walked in with security guards with the perception there would be a bunch of druggies.” Said Finey,
“To assume that it’s only for the shoddiest people and strictly for a recreational front, that’s absolutely ludicrous.”
On Thursday approximately 50 people attended a medical marijuana rally at the Statehouse, sponsored by Haley, Finney, Kansas for Change, and others.