Legalization advocates disappointed following Kansas bill stalling

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:55 PM CDT
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LENEXA, Kan. (KCTV) - Local cannabis patients and advocates have been frustrated that another effort to legalize marijuana in the state has hit a wall.

A state senate committee tabled the bill on Thursday with no plans to bring it back in 2023.

The vote came following testimony from opponents of legalization, which included representatives for statewide law enforcement groups.

Jeff Easter, representing the Kansas Sheriff’s Association, said passage of the bill would be like “opening Pandora’s box.”

Gov. Laura Kelly tweeted soon after that she was disappointed with legislators’ unwillingness to move forward.

“If they get their way, for yet another year thousands of Kansans will be forced to choose between breaking the law and living without pain,” Kelly wrote.

Kelly Rippel, who works with the Kansas Cannabis Coalition, believed that the bill’s failure was not due to a lack of statewide support.

“It’s a myth to think there’s no political will,” Rippel said. “It’s past time for action in Kansas because patients who are suffering in the medical community need access to proven therapies.”