TOPEKA, KS (KCTV) -- Another conversation about medical marijuana is happening in Topeka on Wednesday.
A lot of people are frustrated with how long Kansas has been on the fence about legalizing medical marijuana. It's been about ten years.
Lisa Sublett is the president of Bleeding Kansas, a legalization advocacy group. She said the pressure is on legislators because of the upcoming election year.
“I think lawmakers really need to stop pushing this issue to the back of the table and say ‘we’ll get to it someday.’ Someday is now. It needs to be this year,” Sublett said.
Sublett said she doesn't want the state to rush into a legalization plan. She suggests looking at the 33 other states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes to create the “gold standard” of medical marijuana regulation.
She said patients have been frustrated with the lack of action.
“It would be so amazing for them just to feel like somebody cares about this. They have been so stigmatized and belittled over the years. Even in the hearings. It’s been so hard to listen sometimes in the hearings from the opponents,” Sublett said.
Others, like Dr. Eric Voth, believe it’s time to put the issue to rest.
“I think it’s a huge social experiment that’s being driven by a lot of passion and a lot of emotion, and trying to play into the people that think it’s the only thing that’s going to help them,” Voth said.
Voth studied pain management for more than 30 years. He said research shows marijuana can make PTSD symptoms worse, spark violent episodes and cause future dependence on opiates.
“What’s going on nationally is legislatures caving to pro-marijuana lobbying,” Voth said. “There is a billion dollar industry out there that is using this whole medical side of things to try to get the foothold and they’re legalizing it.”
Wednesday's hearing is in front of the Special Committee on Federal and State Affairs. It’s scheduled 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Testimony can be on any number of topics, from lab oversight and sustainable practices, to labeling and child-resistant packaging.
After the hearing, the committee will submit recommendations to the 2020 state legislature.