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Kansas Lawmaker Ready To Push Medical Hemp Oil Bill Next Session


A Kansas lawmaker hopes legislation that would allow the medicinal use of hemp oil can make headway next legislative session. It would allow the use of hemp oil to treat certain conditions.

The oil is made from hemp, a plant that’s the same species as marijuana, but hemp oil doesn’t cause a person to feel high because it doesn’t contain enough of marijuana’s active ingredient.

Democratic state Rep. John Wilson says medical use of the oil can give Kansas families new options for treating children with seizure disorders.

“These kids are suffering from hundreds of seizures a day and traditional pharmaceuticals that are destroying their bodies don’t seem to be working. So they’re desperately looking for options,” Wilson says.

The bill passed the Kansas House last session, but eventually stalled. Wilson hopes with a crop of new legislators, the bill can win approval after the session kicks off later this month.

However, this session could also bring a new challenge. Wilson says with a new president, there are questions about medical marijuana policies on the federal level.

“That might change and therefore it might make certain lawmakers skittish about doing anything if they know it ultimately might be squashed by the federal government,” Wilson says.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.