LENEXA, Kan. — A Lenexa family plans to move to Colorado after years of effort calling on state lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis fell short.
Christine Gordon grew up in the metro area and now raises her six-year-old daughter, who suffers from severe forms of epilepsy and autism.
As a result of her condition, Gordon’s daughter suffers three to four seizures a month.
“She has triggers like heat sensitivity, fever, illness,” Gordon explained. “They can last for hours at a time. Once they start, it’s very difficult to get them to stop.”
Gordon told 41 Action News that her daughter’s seizures, the most recent one happening on July 4th, bring moments of panic.
“It was scary. I thought we were probably going to have to go back into the emergency room,” she explained. “As many years as we’ve been doing this, it’s still scary. It’s still terrifying.”
To help her daughter treat her condition, Gordon has called on state lawmakers to legalize medicinal cannabis.
“It would make her life completely different,” she explained.
However, the most recent effort in 2018 was rejected by the House after not being granted a hearing.
As a result, Gordon said she plans to move with her daughter to Colorado, where marijuana is legal.
“She’s out of options medically. Surgery is not an option,” the mother explained. “We’re so frustrated here. We’re just not getting the help we need.”
While Kansas waits to approve possible marijuana legislation, other states in the region have passed similar bills.
In June, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medicinal marijuana.
Moving forward, State Rep. Linda Gallagher (R-Johnson County) hoped to have more discussion with lawmakers about the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
“It needs to have a hearing so we can hear from all sides of the issue,” explained Gallagher, who supports changing the state laws for medicinal marijuana. “It’s just going to take sitting down with legislators one-on-one and presenting the facts.”
Marijuana legislation also figures to be an issue that candidates will address for this year’s gubernatorial race.
With the future of marijuana laws still uncertain in Kansas, Christine Gordon said she hoped to get her daughter better treatment in Colorado.
“She deserves healing,” Gordon explained. “It’s her turn.”