A bill introduced in the Kansas Senate would make it legal for patients with some medical conditions to use marijuana, with a doctor's prescription.
Senate Bill 9 was introduced by Democratic Senator David Haley, of Kansas City. Medical marijuana is already legal in 18 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Haley says it’s an issue of basic compassion.
“This becomes a pretty common-sense approach to that, especially when the alternative is to crowd our jails and prisons with people who only wanted to alleviate personal pain,” he says.
Haley’s bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for conditions including glaucoma, hepatitis C, and pain and nausea associated with cancer treatment.
Previous efforts to legalize marijuana for medical purposes have gone nowhere. Haley thinks the bill can get a fair hearing this year.
“There are constituents in literally every Senate district that think that it's a safe alternative to prescription drugs, that’s already being utilized, and should not be criminalized,” he says.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.