Changing marijuana policies in neighboring states elevate discussion in Kansas

Legalizing marijuana in Kansas has been talked about for years, but any legislative action has fallen short.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 11:34 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As people in Missouri have access to recreational marijuana, Oklahoma voters are set to take up the issue next month. While most of Kansas’ neighbors have either recreational or medical marijuana, it’s still illegal in all forms in the Sunflower State.

Legalizing marijuana in Kansas has been talked about for years, but any legislative action has fallen short. This session, Governor Laura Kelly has signaled her support. With two nearby states and potentially a third legalizing recreational use, supporters say it’s time. Among those hoping for change is Kiley Klug whose 15-year-old son, Owen, has Davet Syndrome, a drug-resistant epilepsy. Owen has suffered from seizures and typical pharmaceutical-based treatments have proven to be ineffective.

“I met several parents and families throughout the country who have seen great success with cannabis use with epilepsy,” Klug said.

Through Haleigh’s Hope, a type of low-dose THC oil, she said her son’s life is turned around to a point where he’s regaining lost skills.

“He started communication, vocalizing again, sitting up again,” Klug said. “it’s nothing short of a miracle.”

This legislative session in Kansas, lawmakers are set to take up legislation on medical marijuana use. Seeing potential farther benefits for her son, Klug supports it.

“I’m a mom of children, I’m a mom of someone with special needs. I’m a teacher. This would benefit all facets of my life,” she said. “I have to be optimistic.”

KannaBliss founder Brett Harris has seen interest in CBD products at his stores continue to increase. As a lobbyist with the Kansas Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, he says so far, he has not come across much opposition.

“Medical is a great starting place,” Harris said. “You can really control that the right people are getting the right medicine. When it goes recreational, you slap down a card that says you’re 21 or older. That sometimes is not a great place to start.”

Klug is hopeful that lawmakers will take years of discussion and turn it into meaningful action.

“We’re good people, we abide by the rules,” she said. “We never imagined that we would go down this path. We’re like hundreds of thousands, if not millions of others. This is our only option for our child, for themselves.”