Senator David Haley will introduce one bill to legalize medicinal cannabis in Kansas and one to legalize recreational
Haley believes cannabis could answer the state’s financial problems
Rep J.R. Claeys says there is no chance of recreational and a slim chance for medicinal
Currently the Kansas deficit is in the range of $350 million and predicted to be at $1.1 billion throughout 2019
The fight for cannabis has been a long and drawn out one. Many believe Kansas will be the last state to adopt medicinal or recreational cannabis, despite the plant possibly being one of the most logical solutions to the state’s growing financial problems.
Currently, the Kansas deficit is in the range of $350 million and predicted to go as high 12 $1.1 billion through 2019. While Kansas continues to get deeper in financial problems, their neighbors to the west are leading the way in the cannabis. Colorado managed to pull in $145 million in revenue last year, and created over 20,000 jobs thanks to the cannabis industry.
Seeing Colorado’s financial success with cannabis is one of Senator David Haley’s key reasons for introducing two bills into the Senate. One bill aims to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis, while the other would legalize recreational use.
While it is painfully clear that cannabis could be a relatively simple answer to an enormous financial problem, Kansas Reps. Steven Johnson and J.R. Claeys believe that it is not a solution the state needs.
Claeys claims there is no chance of recreational cannabis being passed in Kansas, and only a slim chance for medicinal. Claeys claims that the state would be abandoning their values to bring in money. It should be noted that Claeys is not exactly clear what values he is referring to, or any clear data proving he is speaking on behalf of the value sof the people.
Kansas leadership is ripe with a outdated and propaganda fueled view towards cannabis. Over the years Kansas has seen growing support for cannabis, from decriminalizing all the way to legalization. Unfortunately, the stubborn state refuses to hold a conversation in the Legislature on the topic of cannabis.
Wichita Vs Kansas
Rep. Gail Finney has been trying to get the Legislature to discuss medicinal cannabis since 2009. Finney does not want to stop at medicinal; she believes that recreational would be the best direction for Kansas in regards to the additional tax revenue.
In 2015, Wichita, the most populated city in Kansas, voted to have cannabis penalties lessened. The vote passed, with 54% of people in favor of lessening cannabis penalties. The State of Kansas came down on the City of Wichita, ending with the Kansas Supreme Court overturning the vote. It was decided the vote did not follow state law in filing proposed ordinance with the city clerk.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt handled the case against Wichita, arguing that state law trumps city law. This was not the first time, or the last time, Schmidt would display his stance against cannabis use.
Colorado Marijuana Report
In 2016, Schmidt’s office released the “Colorado Marijuana Report,” collecting data from district attorneys, sheriffs and chiefs of police around the State of Kansas. In the report, it was discovered that confescated cannabis was 2,500 pounds less since cannabis was legalized in Colorado. The Colorado Marijuana Report ended up being nothing more than a witch hunt.
The report also claimed that the state is having problems prosecuting cannabis cases. This is due to judges refusing to pursue small cannabis cases, and jurors who refuse to see prosecution for cannabis charges.