FREDONIA, KS (KCTV) -- Larry Burgess has no criminal record. He’s a cancer survivor who suffers from seizure disorder.
He tried prescription drugs. A cocktail of 23 pills a day didn’t cut it.
“No seizure medication helped. In fact, my seizures got progressively worse over time. It was terrible. Terrible. At my lowest I contemplated suicide,” Burgess said.
Burgess sat down with KCTV5 investigative reporter Angie Ricono in Colorado Springs.
He faces four criminal charges following a raid near Fredonia, Kansas, which happened more than two years ago.
Changing laws and attitudes, but not in Kansas
Forty-two states have changed their attitudes towards marijuana. It’s either legal or the criminal penalties a person can face have been greatly reduced.
Eleven states and the District of Columbia even allow for recreational use.
Burgess says it was tough to conceal what worked in a small town. For years, he was almost a shut-in because seizures were so bad and could strike at any moment. He practically disappeared from the community and then was back.
“And then I'm able to go back to church. You know, when you're not in church for four years at a time and then you're able to go back to church. I mean, it's just, it's not rocket science,” Burgess said.
Police crime scene photos show Burgess also posted about his plant on Instagram and how he was doing much better.
It’s obvious from police body camera video, Burgess was stunned his home was raided over one pot plant.
“You guys are here for this? For real? All you guys with your guns?” Burgess said.
Burgess was cuffed and hauled to jail. Video from his holding cell shows him having a seizure within hours of being in jail.
Whole family flees to Colorado
Burgess says Kansas has let him down.
“We lost our home. We lost our community. We lost our freedom in Kansas. I feel we lost a lot during this terrible ordeal,” Burgess said.
A judge allowed a modified bond so Burgess could live in Colorado while the criminal case winds through the courts.
In Colorado Springs, Burgess has a medical marijuana card. That means he can simply drive to a dispensary and buy medical marijuana.
“The first time I tried cannabis just waking up without having a seizure after all of those years I was an advocate from then on,” Burgess said.
Burgess no longer walks with a cane and says the number of seizures has dropped from 2-3 a day to 2-3 per week. He says the seizures he does have are shorter and less intense.
He’s disgusted by the charges he still faces in Kansas.
“The maximum amount is 6 months shy of 25 years in prison and it’s a hard pill to swallow,” Burgess says.
His wife says the idea of a trial is overwhelming.
“I don't want to think about it because I just feel like if we try to. If we try to figure out what we're going to do. We're going to fall apart trying to figure it out,” Shannon Burgess said.
KCTV5 reached out numerous times to the Wilson County prosecutor who never responded. The upcoming court date has been postponed once again.