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Kansas DA Claims Cannabis Doesnt Help with PTSD Despite Federal Study Proving Otherwise

Chronic Magazine | March 2, 2023

With cannabis legalization sweeping the nation, Kansas residents may be wondering what the future holds for marijuana in their state. Sen. Mike Thompson recently expressed his hesitance with regard to any form of cannabis legislation, such as Senate Bill 171 - indicating that it may be some time before recreational or medical marijuana passes through the Sunflower State's legislature.

The proposed bill to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana for military veterans is placed in Thompson's committee. The legislation will also enable cultivation, distribution, and sale as well as its utilization by those with valid medical cards approved by their physician or health care provider. While more research is necessary before full-scale legalization can take effect, this could be one giant step forward in helping our brave servicemen and women access much-needed relief from illnesses ranging from chronic pain conditions to PTSD.

On Wednesday, the committee heard from opponents of cannabis legalization who presented new information vital for deciding if legislation should move forward. The hearing will continue Thursday with more testimony and further perspective on this highly debated issue.

Sen. Thompson stated, “at this point, we’re still in data collection. Do we want to make a decision in a hasty fashion? I don’t want to.”

At a heated state meeting, opponents of marijuana legalization voiced their concerns about the possibility of harmful implications if it passed. Steve Howe from Johnson County's district attorney office denounced claims that medical cannabis could assist veterans with PTSD as "insulting".

Howe claims advocates are "using" Veterans as a "selling point" for legalization and had this to say, “The last thing you want a person to do who’s suffering from PTSD is to get them high. That just flies in the face of all logic in the medical community.”

A federal study done in 2021 found that patients who were given high doses of cannabis showed improvements over the course of their treatments.

Brian Surber, deputy director at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), has warned lawmakers against recreational marijuana legalization. This warning comes as Oklahomans prepare to vote on legalizing it the coming days - just five years after approving medical use in 2018.

The Deputy Director claims that his state is a prime example of how much caution should be taken with cannabis regulation and he urges legislators to consider the potential effects carefully before making decisions about its future status.

In a recent statement, Surber highlighted the dark side of marijuana legalization in Oklahoma. He reported witnessing illegal activities such as labor and sex trafficking associated with black market production spurred on by medical cannabis legalization. He even went as far as to compare legalization to communism, he warned that more effective regulation is needed to keep these threats at bay.

Surber said “It reminds me of people who support communist regimes, that support socialism, It’s like well, Cuba just wasn’t done right," and he went on to say, "Because every one that has been done so far has been a failure."

In a recent interview with the Reflector, Thompson regurgitated Surber's testimony and how Oklahoma's legalization of cannabis could be detrimental.

Thompson stated how the Oklahoma cannabis market is "scary" and "frightening" to him and said, “It is literally the wild west, and that’s why they’re having so much problem with the cartels, black market issues, things of that nature.”

Kansas Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau is among those who are optimistic that the state legislature will create a workable plan to legalize marijuana. She, along with other legislators on the same committee, has sponsored Senate Bill 171 in support of this initiative.

Sen. Faust-Goudeau says she understands Kansans are frustrated and some citizens have chronic medical issues that cannabis could help relieve. She said, “Kansas has to do something soon for Kansans that are affected by this and who are proponents. I think we can do this.”

Kansas also has a new bill that could pave the way to ending marijuana-related convictions across the state. Known as the Cannabis Amnesty Act, HB 2363 proposes releasing individuals convicted for such crimes and erasing related arrests and criminal records from their permanent history.

Advocates still have concerns that this Bill will meet the same fate as an earlier Bill that the Kansas House approved back in 2021. Senate Bill 560 aimed to approve the cultivation, distribution, processing, sales and purchasing of cannabis and cannabis-related products, That Bill died in the final days of the legislative session.

Kansas is an outlier in the country as it remains one of just three states prohibiting any form of medical marijuana use. Last year, Missouri made a significant stride toward cannabis reform by legalizing recreational pot, and other neighboring states are likely to follow suit soon.


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