The governor of Kansas on Monday unveiled a plan to legalize medical marijuana and use the resulting tax revenue to fund Medicaid expansion. This comes as lawmakers in the state have already introduced two separate cannabis proposals in recent days.
Gov. Laura Kelly (D) held a press conference to announce her legislation, arguing that Kansans are ready for marijuana reform, which she said would provide patients with a critical alternative treatment option and would give the state the resources to expand healthcare with even more money left over.
We need to use every tool we’ve got to protect the health of our workforce & economy. That’s why, today, I announced we will combine common sense medical marijuana policy to pay for Medicaid expansion. pic.twitter.com/B2zdlakp5c
— Governor Laura Kelly (@GovLauraKelly) February 1, 2021
“The bill establishes the regulatory framework for the cultivation, testing, distribution, prescription and purchase of medical marijuana,” she said. “The introduction of this bill in itself is a win for Kansans, who will benefit from medical marijuana—something that, once again, our neighbors in Oklahoma and Missouri have already recognized and addressed.”
“It’s a win for our veterans, service members experiencing post-traumatic stress or fighting for safety and freedom. It’s a win for Kansans seeking relief from epilepsy or other seizure disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease and other medical conditions. It’s a win for our rural hospitals, for 165,000 Kansans in need who fall into the coverage gap. And it’s a win for our COVID recovery efforts and the state’s economic health and prosperity now and into the future. This proposal allows us to not only recover from the economic uncertainty of the pandemic but emerge from it stronger than before.”
Watch the governor discuss her medical marijuana and Medicaid expansion plan below:
Text of the legislation