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Legalizing Weed: 7 Quotes From Lawmakers After Medical Marijuana Failed to Become Legal in Kansas

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 03:09 PM

While about 70 percent of Kansans support the use of medical marijuana, according to a statewide poll, bills that would have legalized its use have stalled in the state legislature.

The debate in Kansas over medical marijuana is far from over, but here are some quotes from lawmakers about how legalizing weed has failed in Kansas.

On an April 2015 Wichita ballot initiative on penalties for pot, 57 percent of the 37,000 Wichita voters cast in favor of less stringent penalties for first-time offenders.

1. "As an increasing number of states decriminalize marijuana, eventually Kansas is going to fall in line like we did with liquor by the drink and gambling."
Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, who hoped the win would "send a message to the capital for the state to ease up on marijuana," according to The Wichita Eagle

2. "While the voting may be over, the issue isn't."
Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, who attributes the results of the ballot initiative to "a highly motivated group of people who come out for one single issue," according to The Wichita Eagle

In May 2015, the Kansas House passed a resolution that would lessen penalties for possession of marijuana, authorize a study of industrial hemp cultivation, and most significantly, grant access to cannibis oils for medical purposes.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

HB 2049 then moved to the state Senate for a vote. Unfortunately, the bill reached the Senate too late in the session to be considered, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.

3. "We're just going to have to take a look at that next year. It's a big issue."
Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Nickerson, told the Lawrence Journal-World, on needing more time to carefully consider the contents of the bill

4. “A Pittsburg State University study found that 63 percent of Kansans favor marijuana decriminalization and this was nowhere near decriminalization. It seemed like a no-brainer to me.”
Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, who was disappointed the Senate couldn't accommodate the bill but was optimistic on its legislative chances in 2016

5. "I have some serious issues with, 'Let's legalize something just because everyone wants to do it,' without having the research to back that up."
Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, who preferred "splitting the broad measure into separate bills dealing with its criminal, agricultural and medical changes," according to Lawrence Journal-World. Smith is the chair of the state Senate's Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee.

6.
“Properly drafted law that strictly regulates the prescription and dispensation of medical marijuana is an important thing for us to consider, and I think we need to do it sooner rather than later. I’m disappointed we didn’t do it this year, and I’m going to make it a priority next year.”
Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, according to The Garden City Telegram 

7. “The solutions we brought forward this session … not only addressed the financial impacts associated with outdated marijuana laws, but also the human impacts. Make no mistake, this issue will live on in the 2016 legislative session and, perhaps, into the campaign season.”
Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, told the Telegram

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About Marijuana Legalization?

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While about 70 percent of Kansans support medical marijuana, per a statewide poll, bills that would've legalized its use have stalled in the state legislature. The debate in Kansas over medical marijuana is far from over. Here are some lawmakers' quotes on how legalizing weed has failed in Kansas.
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2015-09-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 03:09 PM
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