TOPEKA, Kan. —Parents have appealed to Kansas lawmakers in an effort to legalize cannabis oil for certain types of medical conditions. Many believe cannabis oil helps ease symptoms of violent seizures.

Tracy Robles, a mother who lives near Wichita, said her daughter suffers from violent seizures every day. She said the family must decide whether to move to Colorado, where marijuana is legal, in an attempt to get relief from cannabis oil or to stay in Kansas and suffer.

"It's not feasible for me at this point financially and all of my family is here, so if I were to move to Colorado, it would be with no job, no money, no family, and I don't think it's the responsible thing to do when you have a kid with special needs and medical issues," Robles said.

Parents say children who suffer from seizures often see major benefits from it.

Robles said it's a challenge to convince some legislators to make it legal.

"There are people that could benefit from it medically, and they're real," she said. "We're not trying to get it for recreational use. We're trying to get it for her, to get the seizures under control."

"Is that anecdotal evidence? Is that wishful thinking? Let's get the science and leave the Legislature out of it," Kansas Sen. Mitch Holmes said.

A bill that would allow the special cannabis oil is up for its first hearing next week.

Some critics worry that if laws are relaxed to allow cannabis oil, it could lead to more marijuana use in Kansas. Kansas currently has some of the toughest laws against marijuana in the country.

Missouri passed a law last year that would allow patients to access a form of cannabis extract, if all other medicines had failed to make symptoms better. More than 20 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.

By Matt Flener ~ 1-15-2014


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