esau freeman

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Kansas: Medical Marijuana Activists Say Hemp Oil Bill Would Help Very Few

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Medical marijuana activists gathered at the Kansas statehouse in Wichita Wednesday, pushing lawmakers for change.

Kansas for Change leaders say the THC levels allowed by the hemp oil bill are too low to really make a difference for most patients.

"With what they're hoping to pass right now I don't think there would be very much difference from products you can buy on the shelf from the health foods store right now," said Esau Freeman.

Freeman says he's fed up with what lawmakers have done to a hemp oil bill originally written to help hundreds, but he believes will have a much smaller impact.

"Very few people, maybe 15 people in the state," said Freeman.

A Kansas Senate bill was recently changed to include more than just those who suffer from seizures. It would allow 21-year-olds with cancer, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and PTSD to receive hemp oil with 1-percent THC and children who suffer from seizures to be prescribed .3-percent.

Lawmakers who oppose more THC in cannabis oil say they are afraid people will abuse this form of medicine to get high.

"You would have to have the doctor's permission and there's still a lot of uncertainty for who would produce this product," said Freeman.

Kansas: Wichita Marijuana Supporters Not Giving Up, Despite Falling 47 Signatures Short

EsauFreeman(KansasForChange)TurnsInPetitionsInWichita

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Despite falling 47 signatures short of getting a marijuana decriminalization petition on the ballot in Wichita, Kansas, supporters aren't giving up.

Interim City Attorney Sharon Dickgrafe on Tuesday told the Wichita City Council that it could not legally put the issue on the ballot as a ballot petition, but the council then voted for city staff to work with the marijuana petitioners to address the language of a ballot petition that could be carried for a signature election, probably for a vote next spring when city elections are held, reports Kelsey Ryan at The Wichita Eagle.

But supporters also plan to fight the Wichita elections office on the signature count done last week during the primaries, and still hold the goal to meet the county deadline later this month to get the issue on the November ballot.

Initiative leader Esau Freeman said there have been concerns over two missing pages of signatures that were turned over to the county, with 2,928 valid voter signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot.

At least one of the missing pages contained the signature of his wife, Freeman said. He said petition gatherers weren't allowed to observe the counting, which was done by the Sedgwick County elections office.

"[Kansas Secretary of State] Kris Kobach says we have open and fair elections, but I think the first case of voter fraud has been perpetrated by the Sedgwick County election office," Freeman said.

Kansas: Marijuana Decriminalization Petition Falls Short In Wichita

EsauFreeman(KansasForChange)TurnsInPetitionsInWichita

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Supporters of a petition to decriminalize marijuana in Wichita, Kansas, have come up just short of the number of signatures they needed to force the city to put the issue to a vote.

Organizers got word late Thursday that the Sedgwick County Election Board has ruled they were just 41 signatures short of the 2,928 needed to qualify, reports KAKE.com.

Around 3,500 signatures were disqualified by the office, although reasons weren't immediately given. One possibility is that the election office wouldn't accept signatures from people who were newly registered by the petition circulators, or that those registrations were delayed at the office by proof-of-citizenship requirements, according to petition drive leader Esau Freeman, reports Dion Lefler at The Wichita Eagle.

"This is exactly what I expected from the election office," Freeman said, adding that he was "terribly disappointed" but isn't giving up.

The signature count was supposed to have been completed a year ago, but was delayed by the need to recheck rejected signatures and to conduct Tuesday's primary election.

Petition supporters said they'll be at Tuesday's city council meeting to encourage the council to put the measure on the ballot. The drive had been organized towards getting the decrim question on the November 4 general election ballot.

Kansas: Wichita Marijuana Advocates Turn In Petitions To Reduce Penalties

EsauFreeman(KansasForChange)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana advocates in Wichita, Kansas on Thursday turned in petitions with nearly twice as many signatures as they need to put decriminalization on the November ballot.

City officials in Wichita said they may have questions and concerns about the wording of the measure, but they have no immediate plans to go to court to try to block the initiative, reports Dion Lefler at The Wichita Eagle.

Organizers Esau Freeman and Janice Bradley went to Wichita City Hall at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday and presented City Clerk Karen Sublette with a thick sheaf of papers. According to the advocates, those papers contain the names and signatures of more than 5,800 people in favor of decriminalizing possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

They need 2,928 valid signatures of registered Wichita voters to put the issue on the ballot.

"We didn't verify every single one, but we're pretty confident with what we have," said Bradley, who added that an intern with the Peace and Justice Social Center had checked a large sample of the signatures.

The petition has garnered support from at least two state legislators and the Community Voice, a newspaper focused on Wichita's black community.

Kansas: Medical Marijuana Advocates Rally At Capitol

KansasForChangeFebruary14,2014

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana legislation went nowhere in either chamber of the Kansas Legislature, so the group Kansas for Change on Friday held a rally at the Capitol dome. They want to add Kansas to the list of states that allow access to medical marijuana with a doctor's authorization.

"Putting people in prison and trying to legislate your particular brand of morality is not what Kansans have asked for and not what we're going to stand for," said Esau Freeman, president and cofounder of Kansas for Change, reports Melissa Brunner at WIBW.

As medical marijuana supporters flowed into the Capitol for the event, sneers and jeers were in the air, reports Travis Perry at Kansas Watchdog. Security guards reportedly joked about setting up an "amnesty bin" to collect weed from those attending the rally, and state lawmakers laughingly asked why the rally wasn't set for 4:20 p.m.

"It shows a total lack of respect," Freeman said. "It shows a lack of respect for the patients that are suffering from cancer every day. It shows a lack of respect for those of us who get up every day and advocate for a change in our society. I expect more from our legislators in Kansas."

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