Lawmakers push prescription pot and Senate passes tax legislation

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Lawmakers in favor of medical marijuana are again pushing legislation to get a bill passed this session. Meanwhile, the Senate passed a bill aimed at lowering taxes in Kansas.

“This legislation provides a highly controlled, yet transparent framework for allowing Kansans safe and legal access to medical cannabis,” said Sen. Tom Holland (D-Baldwin City).

Supporters of what is titled “The Veterans First Medical Cannabis Act” call the bill a bipartisan push to open up the state to medical marijuana customers and distributors.

“Citizens are demanding legal access to cannabis because they know it brings them relief from chronic pain,” Holland added.

Opponents of medical marijuana, primarily Republicans, have said such legislation would be a gateway to fully legalizing pot. When we asked several other lawmakers their thoughts, they would not comment on camera saying they had not read the bill. But proponent’s stress this is the answer for helping treating disorders like PTSD.

“Encouraging reports show reducing anxiety, limiting or stopping nightmares, and fighting insomnia as a result of the PTSD,” said Rep. Jim Karleskint (R-Tonganoxie).

Senate votes on GOP tax plan

In the full Senate on Thursday, on final action, the body voted 26 to 14 to pass what is being called a Republican tax relief plan.

Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) presented the bill saying it would mirror federal tax code.

Democrats argued it would be a cut only for big businesses and not the average Kansan.

Some Republicans who voted for the bill warned that they did it with reservation because the past two months, the state fell below tax collection projections.

The tax bill now moves on to the House. If it passes there, many Republicans expect Gov. Laura Kelly to veto it.