Kansas lawmakers hold hearings over neighboring state's issues with marijuana
Wednesday inside the Kansas Statehouse the Senate committee on Federal and State Affairs held the first hearing related to marijuana this session.
Senator Mike Thompson, who chairs the committee, said “considering that a number of states surrounding Kansas have legalized marijuana in various forms, we now have the benefit of a body of evidence available to us should we consider that path going forward.”
Wednesday’s informational hearings focus on the problems that could happen in Kansas if the state goes forward with medical marijuana. Since this was an informational hearing and not a bill hearing, it did not require people on both sides of an issue to have the opportunity to speak.
Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe says the discussion around medical marijuana "should be about public health, and public safety and I ask you to look at those two things, and what the people who work in those areas say about what the proponents want.”
A lot of Wednesday’s testimony pointed to Oklahoma’s issues with medical marijuana since it passed it in 2018. Including the headaches, it's presented to law enforcement.
Brian Surber the deputy director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics told senators “it is crippling to my agency. I'm sure you're gonna have all these things about the money you'll make, that's a little technique thing going way back that the taxes, let's tax it and get people to rehab all the all these kinds of the free up law enforcement.”
Howe believes this is an issue Kansas can wait on until more research is done on the federal level. That way he says, a better decision can be made.
"Before we do medical marijuana, how about we have some clinical studies and evidence from the trusted people in the medical community to support how we go about doing that."
You can watch Wednesday's hearing below. Thursday's will start at 10:30 a.m. on the same YouTube channel.