TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) - Kansas House Democrats on Thursday announced their introduction of three proposed constitutional amendments that would expand Medicaid, legalize medicinal marijuana and legalize recreational marijuana.

House Dems said in a news release that Kansans want legalized marijuana and need easy access to affordable health care. The amendments instruct the Kansas Legislature to enact laws legalizing marijuana and expanding Medicaid by July 1, 2023.

“The legislature fails to expand Medicaid, and in the meantime, tens of thousands of Kansans suffer from inaction. It’s time for Kansas to catch up. It’s past time for us to listen to our constituents,” said House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer. "Passing these constitutional amendments puts them up for adoption on the November ballot. Every voting Kansan will have their voice heard.”

The release said that renewed hospital funding and access to care will revitalize western and rural Kansas and that residents seeking relief from illness would no longer travel across state lines to purchase marijuana, keeping more taxpayer dollars in Kansas. 

Assistant Democratic Leader Jason Probst, lead sponsor of the amendments, said, “House and Senate Republicans have gone on and on for years about how crucial it is for Kansans to have a direct say on important matters in our state. When it comes to violating the Constitutional rights of women, they couldn't put their question to voters fast enough. Despite the longstanding and overwhelming support from Kansans for Medicaid expansion and reform of our marijuana laws, Republicans have done everything in their power to block any meaningful discussion on these policies.”

“During the upcoming legislative session, House and Senate Republicans will have an opportunity to demonstrate that they honestly value and trust the voters of Kansas to decide what's best for the state, or if they simply support public votes when it’s politically advantageous to their re-election campaigns,” Probst said.

Links to constitutional amendments introduced Thursday: