TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Efforts are underway to push forward with marijuana legislation in Kansas.
Several medical marijuana bills are on the table, and a group of democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The bill is set to be assigned a number this week.
“It is time we have a serious discussion in this state about repealing this damaging prohibition,” Representative Brett Parker, D-Overland Park, wrote in a Twitter post last month, supporting the legislation.
While the proposal is in its early stages, Political Analyst Dr. Bob Beatty, said medical marijuana is more likely to gain support from lawmakers this year, but with strict policies that follow.
In an interview with Kansas’ Capitol Bureau on Monday, Dr. Beatty noted most Republican-majority state governments that have passed marijuana legislation, tend to hold more libertarian values, while Kansas’ Republican super-majority legislature has leaned more traditional.
“I think the most likely thing to pass in Kansas would be a medical marijuana bill, and in terms of it passing, it would probably have to be a pretty stringent medical marijuana bill,” he said.
Thirty-six states have legalized medical marijuana. Beatty said Kansas falls behind in pushing marijuana legislation through.
Some polls show medical marijuana has gained increasing support from people across the state.
Some medical marijuana advocates are hoping the state will take action to pass legislation this year. Erin Montroy, President and CEO of the Kansas Cannabis Association (KSCBA), has advocated for reform this year, hearing positive feedback on both sides of the aisle.
“We just want to make sure that something is passable and is going to move this along for Kansans,” Montroy said.
In order for legislation to pass, it would need to gain strong support from Democrats and Republicans at the statehouse. Advocates are hopeful that will be the case for 2021.