TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Democrats in the Kansas House of Representatives announced plans for three constitutional amendments Thursday that expand Medicaid, and legalize medical and recreational marijuana.
The amendments instruct the legislature to enact laws legalizing marijuana and expanding Medicaid by July 1, 2023.
“The legislature fails to expand Medicaid, and in the meantime, tens of thousands of Kansans suffer from inaction,” said House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer. “It’s time for Kansas to catch up … Passing these constitutional amendments puts them up for adoption on the November ballot. Every voting Kansan will have their voice heard.”
Kansas Democrats hope that hospital funding and access to care will revitalize western and rural Kansas. They believe Kansans seeking relief from illness will no longer travel across state lines to buy marijuana, keeping more taxpayer dollars in the Kansas economy. Assistant Democratic Leader Jason Probst, lead sponsor of the amendments, called out what he sees as hypocrisy in lawmaking.
“House and Senate Republicans have gone on and on for years about how crucial it is for Kansans to have a direct say on important matters in our state,” Probst said. “When it comes to violating the Constitutional rights of women, they couldn’t put their question to voters fast enough. Despite the longstanding and overwhelming support from Kansans for Medicaid expansion and reform of our marijuana laws, House and Senate Republicans will have an opportunity to demonstrate that they honestly value and trust the voters of Kansas to decide what’s best for the state, or if they simply support public votes when it’s politically advantageous to their re-election campaigns.”