Updated on December 9, 2017. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Since Kansas does not have a medical cannabis program, there’s no list of qualifications. The state is only one of three in the country that doesn’t allow its citizens to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of weed.
There are some people in the state who think there should be medical marijuana qualifications in Kansas, but they haven’t been able to garner enough support for a medicinal marijuana program. There have been several bills introduced in the legislature that would have called for a medical cannabis policy, but most of them haven’t even been able to get out of the committee stage.
During the 2017 session, one bill did make it out of committee that would call for the establishment of a bare-bones program that would make low-THC cannabidiol (CBD) oil available to patients suffering from severe epilepsy.
Marijuana advocacy groups know this legislation most likely won’t do much to help patients suffering from severe illnesses. The bill would allow doctors to prescribe what is termed as “non-intoxicating” forms of cannabis, meaning they provide therapeutic relief without the high. However, many marijuana advocates believe that because of the way the bill is written, patients wouldn’t even be able to obtain products containing CBD. There was no vote on the bill scheduled as of this writing.
Unlike some of the state’s legislative leaders, nearly 70 percent of Kansans support allowing seriously ill people to have access to medicinal marijuana products. Most base their decisions off of the scientific evidence that proves cannabis can provide a great deal of relief to people suffering from a wide range of debilitating illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS and many others.
Kansas laws are still some of the strictest in the country when it comes to marijuana, but there was a bit of progress that came out of the 2016 legislative session. Lawmakers enacted a bill that would reduce the maximum penalty for a first offense of marijuana possession from one year to six months. If someone is caught possessing weed a second time, the penalty was reduced to a misdemeanor from a felony. The maximum penalty for a second offense is a year in jail.
Maybe one day the citizens of Kansas will come together to encourage their government officials to establish a true medical cannabis program that can help ease the suffering of their constituents. Keep checking back with MarijuanaDoctors.com, and we’ll keep you updated should developments warrant.