A bill to legalize medical marijuana passed a key Kansas House committee on Tuesday. The Federal and State Affairs Committee approved the bill with a 12-8 vote. Previously, the committee approved the legislation in March and sent the bill to the floor for a vote. The House sent the bill back to the committee for further revisions.
Some lawmakers said some of the amendments to the bill will get attached to the final legislation, while others will not. There are many possible amendments, some of which were already approved with a vote.
Some of the stipulations of the amendment include: counties may opt out of the Kansas medical marijuana program; patients may still own guns, regulate advertising, and require a person to have an approved doctor for at least six months before issuing a recommendation.
The amendment also has provisions in the case that the federal government re-schedules or de-schedules cannabis on the federal level. In this case, state law would automatically mirror federal policy.
Lawmakers hope to bring the new bill with revised amendment to the House floor for a vote this week.
Back in March, 20-year-old Kansas lawmaker Rep. Aaron Coleman (D) introduced a bill to broadly decriminalize drug and cannabis possession in the state of Kansas, citing inspiration from a voter approved initiative that ceased the threat of jail time as a result of simple drug possession.
Coleman, who defeated a seven-term incumbent to gain office in 2020, said in an interview that he views drug use as a mental health problem and not a criminal one — and that the law should treat it as such.