Archive for Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wichita Democrat introduces medical marijuana bill in Kansas House

February 4, 2010, 8:57 a.m. Updated February 4, 2010, 10:44 a.m.


— A Kansas legislator has introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana for people suffering from chronic illnesses who have a doctor’s prescription for the drug.

Rep. Gail Finney, a Wichita Democrat, introduced a bill that would set up state-registered “compassionate care centers” where people with prescriptions could buy marijuana.

Supporters of medical marijuana says it helps ease pain from chronic diseases.

“I just think it’s the right thing to do,” said Finney, who says her lupus makes her sympathetic toward those with diseases such as Parkinson’s, cancer and HIV.

But Rep. Scoot Schwab, a Republican from Olathe, opposes the plan.

“Let’s be honest, this would be an attempt to legalize marijuana,” Schwab said Wednesday. “It has no benefit for pain management. All it does is make you crave another bag of chips.”

The bill was introduced the same week that lawmakers voted to make Kansas the first state to outlaw a synthetic form of pot, known as K2.

But Finney said several lawmakers have told her they support legalizing medical marijuana.

“Everybody said ’oh, it’s a good idea, but I don’t want to touch it,”’ she said.

Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said his group’s studies have found that 80 percent of Americans favor medical marijuana.

“Even in Midwestern states like Kansas, where the politics can be conservative, people support this,” he said. “We’ve largely won the hearts and minds of the American public, but we haven’t yet figured out fully how to translate that into public policy.”

Former Kansas Attorney General Bob Stephan, who underwent chemotherapy for cancer in the 1970s, said he expects lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana after they realize it won’t hurt them politically.

“For some reason marijuana just drives people up the wall,” he said. “It’s OK to have morphine and every drug known to man — some with just awful side effects. But not marijuana.”

A legislative hearing for Finney’s bill hasn’t been scheduled.


gatekeeper 8 years ago

I currently have a friend battling colon cancer. His oncologist TOLD him to get weed for the nausea. It works better than the presriptions they give him. I also lost a family member to cancer and will verify that it does help those in need. In my younger years, I suffered from severe migraines that could make me bed ridden for days, even when I was taking the very strong narcotics doctors would give me. The only thing that really helped was smoking a little weed. It eased the pain and made me want to eat, which really helps you recover from a migraine.

Why are people so afraid of a natural medicine that God put on this earth for a reason? It's been used for thousands of years as a medicine. There is a huge difference between man made drugs (crack, meth, etc...) and something that grows naturally.

Liberty275 8 years ago

What a crock. You don't make pot or any other drug legal because it's good for pain or making shirts, you make them legal because people should decide what to put inside their bodies and the government should stay completely out of our personal lives.

"There is a huge difference between man made drugs"

No. It's all the same and all of it should be legalized. If meth heads want to ruin their lives, it's none of your business as long as they stay off your lawn.

Shane Garrett 8 years ago

Whoo Hoo! The State of Kansas could finally use those marijuana tax stamps.

acg 8 years ago

I say it's about time, too, but it will never happen here. There are entirely too many conservative jerk-offs around here for this to pass. They could give a crap if your husband, aunt or mother has an incurable disease. They could give a crap if it's our bodies and we feel like we should be able to decide what goes into it. They like the status quo, they like having the control, oh and I forgot...think of the children!! Isn't that the argument they use about everything?

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

gatekeeper, I totally agree. A few years back, when my daughter was pregnant with my oldest grandson, a local doctor told her to smoke a joint before meals. He had already prescribed every anti-nausea drug he could think of to no avail. We were worried because all the vomiting had put her in the hospital with dehydration issues three times and her unborn baby wasn't gaining any weight.She couldn't keep anything down for long and was ruining the enamel on her teeth. The pot helped immensely, and 6 months later we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Marijuana is a natural drug, unlike meth and the rest. I'd like to see it completely de-criminalized.

David Albertson 8 years ago

Why would anybody propose a bill like this in Kansas? We have waaaaaay to many bible thumpers that think marijuana is the plant of the devil and when smoked makes you crazy and want to rape (white) women. Remember, we've only been able to buy booze on Sundays for a few years now. That in itself shows you how ignorant this state really is. If I could I would move as far away from here as possible. I really HATE conservatives.

Shane Garrett 8 years ago

Maybe if we could get medical Marijuana to make up for that 5 million dollar short fall in school budgets. A little tax stamp and a little change, a little script from my friendly doc and my headache would go away.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

Wallythewalrus. You may be onto something. Legalizing marijuana might go a long way to ending this recession, much the way ending prohibition did for ending the Great Depression.

asbury 8 years ago

I have no idea what barrypenders is talking about, but I agree with those who have said, "It's about time". And no, I'm not a pothead, never have been. I've just seen too much research about the positive benefits of medical marijuana. Unfortunatly, I agree with'll probably never happen in Kansas.

asbury 8 years ago

But I like what wallythwalrus and grammaddy just had to say.

earline james 8 years ago

I don't want to get my hopes up, this being Kansas and all, but I've been wondering about this since I heard New Jersey approved medical marijuana. Surely, we can be as enlightened as New Jersey.
Maybe Sacred Journey can "dispense" it so they don't suffer a loss of revenue due to the ban on K2. Let me start badgering my physician for a perscription so I'm not breaking any laws. This gives me hope that someone in Topeka is looking out for my best interest. Yeah.

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

I'm glad that someone is stepping up to at least get this ball rolling. I really like the idea of using Kansas grown product. I'm sure this will be shot down this time around, but it definitely opens the door for an honest discussion about marijuana.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Sales of Cheesy Poofs will skyrocket.

Keith 8 years ago

autie (Anonymous) says… ….that statement about a difference between man made drugs and all natural medicine God made is just plain idiotic. by that logic, heroin is Ok too. God made those pretty poppies…Peyote?"

Opium would be the natural product of the opium poppy. Heroin is the semi-synthetic man made drug produced from opium, first by Bayer in 1895. It was originally sold over the counter. Peyote? The central sacrament of several native tribes of Mexico.

ksjayhawk74 8 years ago

Smoking marijuana only leads to babies getting confused with turkeys and getting put in the oven.

This happens all too often when kids are on pot.

Kyle Chandler 8 years ago




gatekeeper 8 years ago

autie (Anonymous) says…

Why are people so afraid of a natural medicine that God put on this earth for a reason? It's been used for thousands of years as a medicine. There is a huge difference between man made drugs (crack, meth, etc…) and something that grows naturally.

I won't argue the point if pot should be legal. It probably should be. But….that statement about a difference between man made drugs and all natural medicine God made is just plain idiotic. by that logic, heroin is Ok too. God made those pretty poppies…Peyote? /////

No, it's not just plain idiotic. Does heroin just grow? NO!!! It is a processed drug.

There is a big difference between taking a plant that grows naturally and using it for medicine and taking natural substances and cooking them up to create an entirely new drug. Heroin was created by Bayer Pharma. It just like cocaine. The coca plant is pretty harmless and has some medicinal value. But processing it into cocaine creates a terrible drug.

pace 8 years ago

Any legislator who votes on this bill should first volunteer to sit with cancer victims. Then they should vote on rather the victims deserve some relief. Good for them for considering it.

monkey_c 8 years ago

“Let’s be honest, this would be an attempt to legalize marijuana,” Schwab said Wednesday. “It has no benefit for pain management. All it does is make you crave another bag of chips.” --- too dumb to comment on. Grammaddy is right and gatekeeper. It gorws out of the soil, it burns viola 100% natural releif from what ails ya.

Jimo 8 years ago

Scoot Schwab.

Is this the name of a real person?

Are we certain this story isn't a Colbert plant to show up in some special segment in a month or so to make fun of backward Kansans?

Liberty275 8 years ago

"Smoking marijuana only leads to babies getting confused with turkeys and getting put in the oven. "

True story: In my younger days when I smoked pot, I was pretty stoned and started cooking some cornish game hens in rice on the stove. In my pot-enhanced brain, suddenly the cornish hens looked like little babies and it freaked me out a little.

I forgot what I did after that, which was pretty normal. The memory loss bit is real. I'd get stoned, then paranoid, then I'd hide my stash. The problem occurred the next time I wanted to get stoned because I always forgot where I had hidden my weed. In hindsight I think its pretty funny.

Another funny story: when I was in the military in Germany, we got hash instead of pot. After smoking hash, I always seemed to crave beer and chocolate covered graham crackers together.

For the record, I no longer take any drugs not prescribed by my doctor except for single malt scotch and advil.

Danimal 8 years ago

This thing is going to be DOA. This state is in the process of banning a potpourri that people use as a marijuana substitute, there's no way we're about to bring medical MJ to Kansas.

funkdog1 8 years ago

How does he know it makes you crave another bag of chips?

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

But Rep. Scoot Schwab, a Republican from Olathe, opposes the plan. “Let’s be honest, this would be an attempt to legalize marijuana,” Schwab said Wednesday. “It has no benefit for pain management. All it does is make you crave another bag of chips.”

This is the most ignorant statement I've seen in some time. Mr. Schwab needs to pick up a medical journal or something. The AMA (American Medical Association) , which I respect a lot more than a guy named Scoot, has recommended that marijuana be removed from schedule I status, and opened to research. I bet Scoot doesn't even know why marijuana is illegal. surely it isn't because potato chip sales would skyrocket...

somedude20 8 years ago

Found this story thought it was funny. Watchout for pot cookies:

Thursday, February 04, 2010 By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Kinman Chan, a 30-year-old artist from San Francisco with a prescription for medical marijuana, picked the wrong flight to freak out on.

He was arrested on Sunday when his US Airways plane from Philadelphia to San Francisco had to be diverted to Pittsburgh after he became disruptive and attempted to hit one of the flight attendants.

Unfortunately for him, the woman he tried to strike, Lorin Gorman, 51, of Chula Vista, Calif., is a fourth-degree black belt in tae kwon do.

She dodged him, locked his arm behind his back and then jumped in the seat behind him and put him in a choke hold.

"She took him down all right," said Ms. Gorman's mother, Betty Gorman. "He was dealing with the wrong flight attendant."

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Mr. Chan was acting strangely from the beginning of the flight.

At first, he was waving, smiling and making odd gestures to Ms. Gorman. Then, the complaint went on, shortly after takeoff, he went to the restroom on the plane and began to scream.

When another crew member knocked on the door, Mr. Chan came out with his shirt untucked and his pants down. All of the restroom compartments were open. The crew member attempted to get him back to his seat, but Mr. Chan refused.

He then put his hands together as if he were praying, at which point the crew member removed Mr. Chan and escorted him to his seat, the complaint said.

somedude20 8 years ago

cont: Mr. Chan became aggressive and attempted to hit Ms. Gorman.

That's when her years of training paid off, Betty Gorman said.

Her daughter manhandled Mr. Chan to restrain him, pinning his arm behind his back and eventually using a choke hold, the complaint said.

"If you think that's impressive, you should see her break four or five boards spinning [and] blindfolded," Betty Gorman said.

Mr. Chan, who was traveling back from a conference in the Dominican Republic, was put into handcuffs, and the flight landed in Pittsburgh. He is charged with interfering with flight crew members.

Mr. Chan admitted causing the disturbance and told federal agents he had eaten marijuana cookies while waiting for his connecting flight in Philadelphia.

He told them that he had a medical marijuana card and took double his normal dose.

A preliminary hearing on the matter was scheduled for Wednesday, but was continued until Friday.

Mr. Chan is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on a separate state count of disorderly conduct.

He has been unable to post the $200 required to make bond.

According to pictures posted on his blog, Kincept Co., Mr. Chan is a concept artist in the film industry.

Craig Shoji, who went to school with Mr. Chan, and has been his friend for six years, said the alleged behavior on the plane is completely incongruous with the man he knows.

He said he didn't know his friend to use drugs, and that he "never acted like a pothead." Instead, he described him as responsible and entrepreneurial.

"As smart as he is, he does have a bit of child-like naivete that might get him into trouble," Mr. Shoji said. "He's a gentle guy that wouldn't hurt a fly, and his personality is very endearing."

Lorin Gorman, who was on a flight and couldn't be reached, has been practicing tae kwon do for many years and just recently earned her fourth-degree black belt, her mother said.

The woman originally wanted to go into the Navy's flight program, but she missed the age cutoff while in college.

Instead of becoming a pilot, Lorin Gorman, who is friends with Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III -- the US Airways pilot who last year landed on the Hudson River -- chose to be a flight attendant.

"She had to get on a plane one way or the other," her mom said.

Read more:

alm77 8 years ago

AreU, that's exactly what I was going to say, but you said it much better. Legalize it already.

Kyle Chandler 8 years ago

if they can do it in Michigan and Colorado it can happen here!

please let it!

there should be a petition in the works!

middlewait 8 years ago

There are several conservative, libertarian legislators who will admit privately that they favor legalizing marijuana, but won't do so publicly for fear of alienating their socially conservative bretheren. All libertarian legislators should be asked specifically why they oppose legalized marijuana everytime they spout any "anti-government" rhetoric.

Scott Schwab is not a bad guy, but loves to hear his own soundbyte. And, he used to work in the pharmaceutical field.

lindseydoyle 8 years ago

Why don't we talk about legalizing the production of industial hemp in Kansas? This would be a huge economic benefit to all Kansans. Making it illegal is simply stupid. Kansas was a major producer of it in WW II.

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

thanks ALM. This is an important topic; not just because I want to smoke cannabis without visiting a scumbag who pinches from my bag. This is all about personal freedom, and hypocritical government intervention. To the open minded individual, the reasons for prohibition are clearly inadequate and based on fabricated rhetoric.

We should be talking about legalizing hemp. Most people don't realize that the government all but forced hemp farming in the 1940's, and that this country has a rich history with industrial hemp (it's what your constitution is made of).

It's hard to tell for certain, but the current prohibition of marijuana may actually be a by-product of a desire by some in corporate America to end the use of hemp. look up William Randolph Hearst and his buddy Harry Anslinger to understand more of this issue.

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

"Scott Schwab is not a bad guy, but loves to hear his own soundbyte. And, he used to work in the pharmaceutical field."

in light of this post, and a little Wiki reading, i take back my insult about him being called Scoot. However, I stand by my statement that what Mr. Schwab said is completely ignorant.

I'm intrigued by the statement that he's worked within the pharmaceutical industry. Is this factual? It is no secret that the pharma. guys don't want legalization of cannabis. after all, why would anyone spend $1000 / month on expensive pharma. pills for pain, when they can grow their own plants and not worry about side effects?

Is Mr. Schwab still consulting for pharmaceuticals? seems like it would be a conflict of interest for him to make any statement about cannabis.

localgirl9 8 years ago

YESYESYES!!!! It is way past time to legalize marijuana across the board, but I will settle (for now at least) for a decriminalization for medial marijuana. I am also very much in favor of legalizing the production of industrial hemp.

Shane Garrett 8 years ago

Perhaps we should be writing to our leaders get this bill to the floor and vote yes on this issue? Is there any way to keep western kansas in the dark about this?

geekin_topekan 8 years ago

Besides the Constitution and the first American flag, what else was made from marijuana?

Oo, I know. Andrew Jackson! A well known marijuana enthusiast, he even grew it at the White House.

Shane Garrett 8 years ago

First, log onto the Kansas Legislature's website (just Google it!) and use the "find your legislator" function. Get their number, call 'em up and demand that they support HB 2610. Most legislators hear the word "marijuana" and cower in fear because they're afraid they'll lose votes. Let's make sure that they understand that the only way they'll lose votes is if they DON'T support this bill. It would also be useful to get in touch with EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the House Health and Human Services Committee. Their names and numbers are listed below.

Brenda Landwehr 785-296-7683 Dave Crum 785-296-6014 Owen Donohoe 785-296-7682 Lana Gordon 785-296-7652 Phil Hermanson 785-296-7699 Aaron Jack 785-296-7644 Peggy Mast 785-296-7685 Jim Morrison 785-296-7676 Bill Otto 785-296-7656 Jill Quigley 785-296-7689 Marc Rhoades 785-296-7682 Scott Schwab 785-296-7632 Don Schroeder 785-296-7689 Clark Shultz 785-296-7684 Geraldine Flaharty 785-296-7651 Gail Finney 785-296-7668 Dolores Furtado 785-296-7677 Ann Mah 785-296-7668 Cindy Neighbor 785-296-7687 Mike Slattery 785-296-7665 Ed Trimmer 785-296-7122 Jim Ward 785-296-7675 Valdenia Winn 785-296-6838

jonas_opines 8 years ago

asbury (Anonymous) says…

"I have no idea what barrypenders is talking about"

The mistake is thinking that there is a point past disjointed, anti-leftist mumblings.

Alexander Neighbors 8 years ago

Dear legislators,

IF you are looking for a way to make this bill a law Please look to other states that have already passed it.

Here is all of the administrative items for the bill that passed in Oregon. Washington state and California is Very similar.

peacock 8 years ago

wallythewalrus.... you sound familiar to me.... did you write a letter already to one of those people on the list???

i hope it at least gets far enough for us to vote on it. that will really show how much support it has.

today is a good day though that someone at least had the guts to propose it in kansas.... one step closer.

samsamsamsam 8 years ago

It seems this "barrypenders" character has a distorted view of reality. He makes me fully appreciative of what little knowledge I possess.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

I'm hoping they run him in 2010!! Lol

lounger 8 years ago

Way to go Gail! Its soooo refreshing to see someone at the capital have some guts for once>Im all for it. Tax it and lets see how many people turn extra $$$ for Kansas down in this time of need.....

laiie430 8 years ago

Why is the Journal World hiding this story? It was barely on the front page, and now it doesn't even show up under "Most Discussed"

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