Kurt Kerns, Attorney at Law
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The cases only become harder

The marijuana laws of this nation were created in part because of hysteria and part due to caution. Marijuana does have health effects that can be damaging. However, so can many legal drugs. More than 10,000 highway deaths per year are attributed to alcohol use. Chemotherapy drugs may assist in killing cancer cells, but the "side effects" are so severe that they cause patients hair to fall out, bring about nausea and may come close to killing the patient.

Marijuana has been classified as Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is illegal and has no acceptable medical uses. This is something of a circular definition. If it is illegal to possess and perform medical experiments, it is difficult to determine if a drug has any medical application.

The legalization of medical marijuana in numerous states runs counter to the federal drug schedule and creates evidence that suggests this drug may have legitimate medical uses. Kansas is not one of those states that permit the use of medical marijuana, but its proximity to Colorado is likely to increase the number of incidents like the one involving a Garden City mom.

She was arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana and lost custody of her son. She uses the drug to alleviate her Crohn's disease, a painful and disabling inflammatory bowel disease.

While the felony charges could result in a 30-year prison sentence, it seems like an absurd waste of tax dollars to prosecute such an individual. The 37-year-old mother is hardly a public safety threat, and the only thing that is more absurd than such a prosecution would be a conviction, which could send her to prison until she reaches retirement age, all at Kansas taxpayer expense.

Kansas.com, "Garden City mom turns herself in, faces charges in marijuana-use case," Gabriella Dunn, The Wichita Eagle, June 15, 2015

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