Medical marijuana proponents take battle to Kansas Capitol

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TOPEKA, Kan. – A hot-button issue that has faced Kansas legislators in the past may gain some traction this time around, according to proponents.

Brian Evans was one several dozen people who showed up a rally at Topeka’s statehouse Thursday, in support of the Kansas Compassionate Care Act (House Bill 2011, Senate Bill 9) which was re-introduced to Kansas lawmakers this month.

“It’s embarrassing because if people know that you’re doing that then they automatically have this stigma that you’re some kind of Beavis and Butthead character or something. It’s easier to move and get around. I’m not shaking as bad and my muscles aren’t locking up as frequently,” said Brian Evans.

Evans says he’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He claims medical marijuana is the only thing that helps control his pain and doesn’t put him in a coma-like state.

Christine Bay’s three-year-old daughter suffers from seizures. Bay says Autumn’s medications cause her to stop breathing.

“I’m just waiting for the state of Kansas to tell me that they will not put me in a cage if I treat my daughter. She is out of options. We’ve gone through the pharmaceutical list,” Bay said.

There are some studies that say there’s a lack of evidence proving the benefits of medical marijuana.

The American Epilepsy Society released this statement in November, including the information that “robust scientific evidence for the use of marijuana is lacking.” The AES continued: “safety concerns coupled with a lack of evidence” does not support use of marijuana for treatment of seizures at this time.

In April, the American Academy of Neurology revealed in this report there is “only limited evidence to support the use of medical marijuana beyond treating multiple sclerosis symptoms.”

Proponents of the cannabis care act don’t buy the findings. Esau Freeman is the president of Kansas For Change, Inc.

“That comes from the medical community and the medical community is a business. And they have a conflict of interest when it comes to this because they make plenty of money off of pharmaceutical drugs,” Freeman said.

Freeman told FOX 4 people on both sides of this legislation are scheduled to speak in front of lawmakers in committee hearings next week.