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Jan. 15, 2013
TOPEKA A bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state was introduced in the Kansas Senate and referred today to the Public Health and Welfare Committee.
The "Cannabis Compassion and Care Act" would permit the use of marijuana to treat pain and nausea associated with a number of conditions including cancer, glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, or multiple sclerosis.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. David Haley, said that legalized medical marijuana is fast becoming the norm in the U.S.
"It's a holistic approach to relief from a bevy of maladies. It's well documented that there are no side effects, certainly not many of the side effects of traditional pharmaceutical prescriptions," said Haley, a Kansas City democrat.
The bill is the same as the one introduced last year by Haley and in previous sessions by Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita. The legislature has yet to seriously consider the bill, and Haley acknowledged this year may be no different.
"There will be a knee-jerk reaction to the word 'marijuana' and what that means. But polls show that the constituency has no real problem with it, that it would be well received," Haley said.
The 21-page bill is modeled after language from laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana, Haley said. Currently 18 states and Washington D.C. do so. California became the first to do so in 1996.
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