TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – While residents of Oklahoma voted Tuesday on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana, some lawmaker says any actions by other states has them asking questions about Kansas.
“I have been wanting to see some movement here for some time,” said Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita. “I wanted to get it done last year, and I was really hopeful it would.”
Sawyer says medical marijuana could get a look at passing in Topeka this session.
“We see other states have done it,” said Sawyer. “Clearly, we have the votes in the House to pass medical marijuana. The question always is, it’s the Senate.”
Sawyer says after it passed on a “yes” vote from both Republicans and Democrats last season in the Kansas House, Senate leadership was reluctant to move it out of committee for a vote.
One lawmaker from the Kansas City area was closely watching the recreational marijuana use vote in Oklahoma on Tuesday.
“A lot of the Kansas City area legislators are very supportive because of what Missouri had done,” said Democrat Kansas House member Stephanie Clayton from Overland Park. “And so perhaps some of our Wichita area and South central delegation members might be more inclined to support this as they see more of an economic development threat.”
Clayton says there may not be enough support to consider recreational marijuana in Kansas right now. But she says medical use could still get a look from lawmakers this year. Clayton also says Missouri and Colorado are making money on marijuana taxes. She says Oklahoma has been making strong revenues from medicinal marijuana.
“It’s not about the red or the blue. It’s about the green,” said Clayton. “In this case, I mean money. It always comes back to money, and if this is an economic development opportunity for Kansas citizens, and I believe that it is, then we should be looking at supporting it with the proper safeguards in place, of course.”
In the end, Oklahoma voters said ‘no’ to the recreational marijuana question.
KSN reached out to several Republican lawmakers. As of publishing time, KSN has not heard back on the possibility of seeing medical marijuana pass in Topeka.