Cannabis in Kansas is entirely illegal and penalties for possession are steep. A 69-year-old patient at Hays Medical Center who is in the final stages of terminal, inoperable cancer might face arrest for possessing a vaping device and edible THC paste earlier this month. That is if he lives long enough.
On Dec. 16, police raided Greg Bretz's hospital room and busted him for possession of marijuana extracts. The court date is set for Jan. 2.
Bretz told The Kansas City Star's Dion Lefler in a phone call that he was "flat on my back" in his hospital bed. The THC paste and vaping device seized by police officers helped Bretz alleviate his symptoms after the doctor advised him to "do whatever he wants if it makes him feel better."
However, when a hospital worker reported that Bretz was vaping claiming that the device was a fire hazard due to the oxygen in his room, three cops sprung into action.
Bretz claims that he is not on oxygen and that the police were more focused on seizing the THC paste, which he used as a medicine.
In that he is bedridden, there's a possibility that Bretz won't be babble to appear in court, which could lead to the issuance of an arrest warrant.
Kansas Legalization Efforts
Even though a special committee is preparing a medical cannabis legalization bill for the 2023 session, Kansas residents with terminal diseases and other conditions continue to lack access to cannabis.
"I think what I'm going to do is — and any member is more than welcome — is to take this information and create the bill," Sen. Rob Olson, chair of the 2022 Special Committee on Medical Marijuana recently said. "And I'm going to work on a bill with a couple of members and then if anybody wants to sign on in the Senate, they'll be more than able to sign onto that bill and introduce it at the beginning of the session."
For now, Epidiolex is the only cannabis-derived medicine Kansans can legally use after Governor Laura Kelly (D) signed new legislation earlier this year allowing them to obtain prescription drugs derived from cannabis-related products.
That bill allows Kansas residents to obtain cannabis-derived medications as long as they are approved by the FDA.
Epidiolex got the green light from the agency in 2018 and is used to treat epilepsy caused by two rare conditions, Lennox- Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Photo: Courtesy of Nani Chavez on Unsplash
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