Kansas lawmakers introduce bills to legalize medical marijuana

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Three Kansas lawmakers have introduced bills legalizing the use of medical marijuana for pain management and other established health conditions. 

Sen. Tom Holland (D) along with Reps. Jim Karleskint (R) and Cindy Holscher announced the two bills at a news conference on Thursday. 

"This legislation provides a highly controlled yet transparent framework for allowing Kansans safe and legal access to medical cannabis. Because wounded warriors were put on the front line, this bill puts our Veterans at the front of the line with the first 60 days dispensaries are open exclusively to our Veterans," Sen. Holland said. 

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"Regardless of which war or conflict you look at, high rates of PTSD in Veterans have been found, and there are encouraging reports of reducing anxiety, limiting or stopping nightmares, and fighting insomnia as a result of PTSD with cannabis treatment," said Rep. Karleskint, who is also a Vietnam Veteran.

READ MORE: Senate Bill 113 and House Bill 2163

"For years, Kansans have pushed to have access to medical marijuana, to the point that now over 70% of citizens are in favor of legalizing medical cannabis. By starting with veterans, we are reaching one of the groups that has advocated for years to have regulated access to medical marijuana in order to help with treatment of PTSD and other combat-related issues," said Rep. Holscher.