Medicinal Marijuana Advocate Faults Kansas Legislators For Unnecessary Suffering!
Alejandro Rangel-Lopez says that lawmakers who won’t allow medical marijuana to be legalized are to blame for Kansans having to go through unnecessary pain. After 2 days of hearings in the Senate about proposed laws, it doesn’t look like much will change this year.
Rangel-Lopez, who lives in Dodge City and has been to the Legislature before to talk about the rights to vote and the immigration system, said that 17 people were arrested in Ford County for having marijuana between November and February.
“These people are my age. A lot of those names are ones I remember from elementary school and high school. Rangel-Lopez said, “I graduated with a lot of them.” “And it breaks your heart even though you know what will happen. They get caught up in the law enforcement system and spend years or even decades on parole.
And it makes them miserable. And what for? What for? I don’t think that making marijuana illegal has done us any good. So I’m tired of seeing people suffer needlessly because our lawmakers don’t do anything.” Senate Bill 135 would start a medical marijuana initiative in 2025. The Senate Governmental and State Relationships Committee put off the debate on the bill.
Because of the committee’s decision, it’s unlikely that the bill will move forward before members of congress complete their work in early April. However, any policy could come back as part of a deal made late in the session. During a hearing on Wednesday, Rangel-Lopez and dozens of other people who support medical marijuana spoke and wrote in favor of the bill.
The next day, law enforcement personnel and other groups said the bill would have bad effects.vSen. Alicia Straub, R-Ellinwood, asked Rangel-Lopez why his “friends” use drugs. Rangel-Lopez never called them friends, but Straub did. “Do you know whether or not these individuals were using because it helped them with their health? Or did they just use it to make themselves feel good?” Straub said.
Rangel-Lopez said that people in southwest Kansas don’t have easy access to psychological services, and that “a lot of people self-medicate.” Rangel-Lopez said, “I don’t know what they were doing with it, but a lot of them are 1st offenders, and it’s just unfair.” “I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to put them in jail and keep them there.”
The bill, which was proposed by Sen. Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia, would control how marijuana is grown, tested, processed, distributed, and sold. The State Department of Health and Environment, the Board of Healing Arts, the Alcohol and Beverage Control unit of the Department of Revenue, which would be renamed Alcohol and Cannabis Control, and the Board of Pharmacy would all be in charge of keeping an eye on things.
A license to grow would cost $20,000, and each plant would cost $20. A license would also cost $20,000 for processors, distributors, and retailers. Patients would have to pay $50 for a registration certificate and a 10% excise tax on all purchases. The limit for THC in plants would be 35%, in oils and concentrates it would be 60%, in edibles it would be 3.5 grams, and in patches, it would be 10 milligrams.
Smoking and vaping would still be against the law. Mandy Sohosky, who said she was a private individual, said she had tried “everything” to treat her chronic migraines. She said that the “sudden, piercing pain” was like getting “brain freeze” after devouring a scoop of ice cream, except that it could last for hours or even days.
She thinks that she has spent about half of the last 20 years in pain which makes it hard for her to do things like watch movies, go to sports games, or go to church. Sohosky said that she tried prescription drugs, trigger point injections, sleep studies, MRIs, bloodwork, physical therapy, diets, acupuncture, and even “crazy” things like Daith piercings, specific body wash, supplements, and exercise.
Sohosky said, “The doctors can’t think of anything else to try, so they give me muscle relaxers and opioids.” “When I went to the pharmacy to get my last prescription refill, the pharmacist asked if I wanted them to order Narcan for me to keep on hand. Narcan is a medication used to treat an overdose of opioids.
She said that a few months ago, she tried medical marijuana with a lot of fear in a state where the substance is legal. After 10 minutes, the pain went away. She wept. Sohosky said, “There is a way to stop my headaches.” “It’s not a perfect answer, but it would help me be there for my kids more. I could go to choir concerts and karate lessons.
I could be there for a movie night with the family. There is a way to make my pain go away. Please let me keep using it as long as my kids are young and my parents are still alive. I still have so much to remember. Let me make them, please.”
Tuck Duncan, a lobby group for the Kansas Cannabis Industry Association, said that 70% of Kansans and 90% of Americans want some form of legal marijuana. Duncan said, “Those who are against medical marijuana are, quite frankly, on the wrong side of history.” “It will happen, even if not this year.”
Debbie Mize, who helped start the well-known group Kansans for Health Freedom, which is against vaccines, decided to join law enforcement agencies and former state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook in speaking out against the bill. Mize, who lives in Louisburg and sells herbal supplements, fought for the right of people to choose what they put in their bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But in her sworn testimony, she said that the proposed law for medical marijuana was indeed a “cover” to legalize a “dangerous substance that is linked to foreign cartels.” “We all know that now the cartels don’t follow the law, which makes things very dangerous for marijuana users who don’t know what’s going on,” Mize said, without giving any proof to back up her claims.