TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Some state lawmakers are going green in support of marijuana legalization. Two new bills are being introduced at the statehouse. One would legalize medicinal use while the other would legalize recreational.
Previous attempts to get marijuana legalized in Kansas have failed before in the past.
A bill was submitted last year but it was killed in committee. But now that the state is experiencing budgetary shortfalls, some lawmakers say marijuana might be a highly profitable crop.
Senator David Haley, D – Kansas City, KS plans to introduce the two bills. He argues that Colorado’s bump in state tax revenue since legalization could serve as an example of how Kansas might benefit financially amid budget woes.
”There is no arguing with the data that it’s now available for many states,” he says. “In many ways we’re broke. And we need to look at other opportunities. We are an agricultural state already. We are best known for that- it’s just a solid link between who we are already.”
In some form or another, marijuana legalization has spread from coast to coast. But Kansas remains in uncertain territory. That’s because more conservative figures have shot it down in the past.
But some Republicans are recognizing the shift in attitudes and acceptance of the controversial plant.
While campaigning, Senator Randall Hardy, R- Salina, noticed a trend with Kansans.
“The one thing I found out while I was knocking on doors was that people were interested in the use of medical marijuana. The medical marijuana provided some relief to children with seizures.”
While he recognizes some health benefits, he’s approaching the situation with caution.
“I need some more information before I can jump in all the way,” he says. “The use of it and the safety and all of those things need to be examined before making a decision.”
Both bills are being introduced to the Kansas Senate.