The Sunflower

Letter to the Editor — It’s time for Kansas

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Letter to the Editor — It’s time for Kansas

It’s time for what? You may ask. A group of four social work graduate students think it’s time for the Kansas legislature to move forward with the legalization of medicinal marijuana. For the past nine years, bills related to medicinal marijuana have been pushed aside or have sat in committees with no action. Most recently, in 2017, the Kansas Safe Access Act (KSAA), primarily written by patient advocacy group Bleeding Kansas Advocates, was introduced as a bill to both Senate (SB 187) and the House of Representatives (HB 2348). Once again, however, these bills died in committee and were never granted a hearing. If passed, either one of these bills would have allowed Kansas children, adults, and elderly alike access to medicinal marijuana to aid in their chronic pain management and recovery; benefits that for some health conditions cannot be otherwise achieved with traditional medicine. As a result, Kansas is behind 29 states and the District of Columbia who have all enacted laws to allow for the use of medicinal marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). We think it’s time for Kansas to join these states. It’s time for Kansas to welcome the health, financial, employment and educational advancements that the legalization of medicinal marijuana can bring. I say financial because the revenue from medicinal marijuana sales could be applied to satisfy funding shortages in areas like education, or perhaps the state’s $4.3 billion debt. In order to achieve legalization of medicinal marijuana, it is crucial for supporting constituents to get their names on voting ballots and run for local office. It’s time to challenge those legislators who have for long dominated powerful seats. As Kansas constituents, it’s time to express we are determined to have our voices heard and our healthcare rights enhanced. If you are interested in supporting or learning more about this public health matter, I invite you to visit the Bleeding Kansas Advocates website, and the WSU social work graduate students’ Facebook and Instagram pages at @itstimeforkansas.

 

Tatiana Munoz Vargas

WSU Social Work Graduate Student

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