Pubdate: Mon, 28 Jan 2008
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal (KS)
Copyright: 2008 The Topeka Capital-Journal
Author: James Carlson, The Capital-Journal
Cited: Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


A bill introduced in a Senate committee Monday would allow judges to 
consider a medical condition as defense of marijuana possession.

Under the proposal, those with a debilitating illness arrested for 
the drug's possession could present in court a doctor's written 
certification that marijuana would offer therapeutic benefits.

"This is simply an issue of compassion," said Laura Green, director 
of the Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition that helped draft the measure.

The bill would not legalize or decriminalize possessing the drug.

The mere introduction of the bill, usually a formality, was decried 
by one Topeka legislator.

Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, opposed the bill's entry on the 
calendar, saying, "It costs a lot of money to introduce a bill."

Schmidt, a pharmacist, said it's difficult to ensure the same amount 
of marijuana is distributed to each patient. She added that the bill 
violates federal law.

The bill is expected to receive a hearing in mid-February. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake