Police in Hays, Kansas raided the hospital room of a terminally ill cancer patient on December 16 to bust him for possessing cannabis products, the Kansas City Star reports. Kansas is one of just three U.S. states to have maintained a complete ban on cannabis with no exceptions, not even for doctor-recommended medical products.
The patient, 69-year-old Greg Bretz, had been using a THC-infused edible paste and a vape pen to ease his pain while hospitalized for his final days. Bretz said his physician had told him he should do anything he wanted for the pain, as there was nothing doctors could offer to treat or ease his condition beyond hospice care.
But someone at the hospital reported Bretz’s activity to law enforcement and, on December 16, police officers visited his room. They confiscated his THC paste and vape pen, cited him for drug possession, and set a court date for January 2 to cover the case. Bretz — who cannot stand unassisted and is spending the final days of his life in the hospital suffering from inoperable, terminal cancer — would not be able to attend his day in court.
The ticket and court summons were soon dropped by police but the message that Kansas‘ harsh cannabis policies are grossly outdated was made perfectly clear.
Following the hospital incident and disgruntled responses from concerned citizens and cannabis advocates alike, Kansas Democrats in the state Legislature have renewed their calls to legalize medical cannabis, Marijuana Moment reports.
House Dems are committed to legalizing access to medical marijuana. #MMJ is available to ill patients in dozens of states across the country.
Kansans shouldn’t be forced to choose between quality, safe health care and abiding by the law. #ksleghttps://t.co/RhVDMJY5mz
— Kansas House Democrats (@KSHouseDems) December 26, 2022
“House Dems are committed to legalizing access to medical marijuana,” the party said on Twitter. “[Medical cannabis] is available to ill patients in dozens of states across the country. Kansans shouldn’t be forced to choose between quality, safe health care and abiding by the law.”
The Kansas House previously advanced a bipartisan medical cannabis proposal but that bill died in the GOP-controlled Senate.
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