Those are the words straight from the mouth of a former Kansas Department of Children and Families, DCF, employee displayed on Kansan.com. Right now, this statement might have you baffled, perplexed, or confused but there are some valid reasons why someone might say this. But first, let’s start with the basics.
Kansas has stood its ground for some time now and kept the current laws surrounding the penalties for possession of marijuana. Currently, if someone is caught, depending on the amount they have on hand and their intent, they could be faced with six months in jail. That is if it is a first offense, but someone who is a second-time offender could be looking at a misdemeanor charge with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. While these penalties were recently reduced when the Kansas Legislature enacted HB 2462, it may still be an issue for many lower-income residents who have been caught with the substance. Why, you wonder, we’ll get to that soon.
There are many concerns that arise when marijuana or cannabis is brought up. Some people have first-hand experiences with it and know the benefits it provides while others still view it as a controlled substance that shouldn’t be permitted for any type of use. Kansas criminal defense attorneys have handled cases where both viewpoints apply. But, there is no doubt that many suffer the repercussions associated with carrying the substance who need it for their health. As of now, there are several other states who have legalized the substance and efforts continue from persistent organizations to bring Kansas on board.
According to knst.com, Kansas lawmakers may be considering coming aboard as they have seen how profitable the drug can be as Colorado has experienced a bump in sales tax revenue since the legalization of marijuana. So now, lawmakers such as Senator David Haley plan to introduce two bills as the state is experiencing budgetary shortfalls. So, is this talk of legalizing the substance because the government wants more money or do they truly care about the wellbeing of the citizens and how cannabis has helped many treat their conditions as opposed to using opioids or other harmful and addicting drugs?
Here’s where the controversy comes in…
In an article produced by Kansan.com, an episode of “Weediquette” which aired on Viceland, was discussed where the controversial topic of marijuana was explored. Two mothers were the topic of discussion as they had their son taken away from them all because he stood up for his mom in class. Apparently, the two mothers moved into a home with multiple tenants. Drug use was apparent so the tenants were kicked out. However, two bongs were present in the home. While Jasmine Klaer claims she never smoked marijuana, Shona Banda suffers from Crohn’s disease and uses it for treatment for her condition. When her son spoke up in class when the topic of marijuana came up, he was pulled from class, questioned by administration, and soon after, police showed up to the two women’s property. Their son was removed from their custody.
Another concerning event involved Raymond Schwab who had his five children taken away. He had a history with the law as his wife was imprisoned for domestic violence. Although there were some underlying issues that may have occurred in his household, the only thing included in the state’s allegations against him was marijuana use. He uses the substance to treat his mental and physical conditions he suffers from as he is a disabled vet. Schwab isn’t rich and living among the wealthy. But he did employ a criminal defense lawyer in Kansas to help fight to regain custody of his children.
One of the biggest controversies that exists is whether those who come from higher income are more privileged than others. Andavolu, who was hosting the show, stated “if you’re rich, the state isn’t inquiring into the ongoings of your household.” But Klaer and Banda aren’t rich either and perhaps that’s why authorities were quick to investigate the allegations that marijuana was present in the home.
Marijuana, or cannabis if you prefer, is an ongoing issue that affects many people’s lives who are simply looking to find another medical outlet to treat their injuries, pain, or suffering. Unfortunately, politics plays a large role in the matter and many discrepancies continue to develop including families being ripped apart.