It’s not exactly what gamblers would expect to see when heading to the casino, but a giant sign is making headlines in Mulvane. Fire It Up Kansas recently launched a new digital billboard, pushing for the legalization of marijuana. It can be seen just north of the Kansas Star Casino near the turnpike toll booths. “This is the first one that’s going up,” said Mike Golden of Fire It Up Kansas. “We expect it to keep growing and growing and growing until something changes in this state.”
It’s change that Golden argues could benefit a wealth of Kansans. If the use of marijuana was legal in the state, he believes it would be a safer drug, especially with government regulation. “It would make criminal organizations substantially weaker and people would stop going to jail,” he said. “There would be millions saved by not prosecuting and putting people in jail over a plant.” The new sign is the largest pro-marijuana sign in the Midwest.
After displaying the ad, Golden said the organization has had 1,000 more Facebook likes on its Fan Page. He anticipates as they continue to campaign, more people will join the marijuana movement. Yet Fire It Up Kansas isn’t alone. A group of elderly activists of the Silver Haired Legislature are also pushing for the legalization of pot, especially when it comes to medicinal purposes. “It’s ideal for Parkinson’s disease, for epilepsy, for severe arthritis pain,” said delegate Carl Williams. “It has also been great with cancer patients.”
This past month, Williams said a majority of the delegates voted in favor of pushing the state to pass the legislation — not just medical marijuana, but for all uses of the plant. He said marijuana could help boost the state’s agriculture industry while curing patients who can’t afford medicines or patients who have yet to find a successful treatment. He said if Kansas overlooks the opportunity, other states may snag it first.
“Kansas can get on the train now and take advantage of the financial and social benefits of medical marijuana or be left at the train station because other states around us probably will pass it,” he said. “So it really behooves us to give that opportunity to use it as a medication for Kansas citizens.”
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