TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana in Kansas want their voices to be heard.
"Putting people in prison and trying to legislate your particular brand of morality is not what Kansans have asked for and not what we're going to stand for," said Esau Freeman, president and co-founder of Kansas for Change, Inc.
The group Kansas for Change, Inc. sponsored a rally at the Statehouse Friday. They want to add Kansas to the list of 21 states that allow legal access to marijuana with a doctors recommendation. They say studies show it helps conditions such as post-traumatic stress and multiple sclerosis.
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate, but, so far, no hearings are scheduled.
Freeman says not allowing hearings on the measure is against the spirit of the legislative process. He says lawmakers have a duty to allow debate on all topics, even those with which they do not agree.
Freeman says he understands that opponents may be concerned about drug abuse, but criminalizing use of marijuana for what he says is a legitimate purpose and putting violators in prison is a huge cost to taxpayers.
"If you're concerned about drug use, deal with it like you deal with smoking. Put out campaigns to reduce use and make people responsible," Freeman said.
The Kansas Silver Haired Legislature is among groups supporting legalizing medical marijuana.