Mike Morton - a Cowley County man who spent time in prison for growing pot - says he and his wife have helped form a group pushing for what they consider to be more sensible pot laws in Kansas.
The non-profit group Kansas For Change Inc. seeks to change cannabis laws especially in regard to medical usage. Members, Morton said, will remain anonymous unless they choose to make their involvement known publicly.
Prior to a pot cultivation conviction in the fall of 2011, Morton was a prominent member of the Cowley County Democratic Party. Morton served several months in prison before being released in the spring of 2012.
He has served as chairman of the county Democratic Party, the Fourth Dist. Democratic Party and made an unsuccessful bid for county commissioner.
Morton and his wife, Sharon Gordon, have formed the group with Wichitan Esau Freeman, who made an unsuccessful run for Congress last year.
Morton contacted NewsCow and asked to run a letter to the editor in response to this editorial from the Winfield Courier.
HIS LETTER IS BELOW:
On behalf of the thousands of Kansans suffering needlessly from lack of access to Medical Marijuana I would like to thank the Courier for finally admitting in print what has been known for centuries, Marijuana works for a wide assortment of ailments, but its use for cancer treatment, not just relief from the complications of Chemo therapy, but actually shrinking tumors, is now being widely tested. Many people seem to think that they “know all about” Marijuana and they make ignorant comments like those included in the Courier Editorial and the letter from Ms. Caulfield.
Marijuana is not physically addictive in any way. In some people there can be a psychological dependence more akin to “addiction” to sex, food and shopping which many in our society seem quite proud to engage in. We don’t prohibit these activities because some people cannot control themselves. One cannot overdose from Marijuana, yet every year hundreds of college students die from alcohol poisoning. Many enlightened parents have come to the realization that alcohol and tobacco are the real gateway drugs and far more addictive and dangerous. Many parents would prefer their college kids use Marijuana but they risk losing all student loans because of our draconian drug laws.
Parents should always do everything in their power to discourage teens from doing any drugs period. By bringing Marijuana into the light of day we can better control its availability and potency.
Ms. Caulfield claims that there are “pot” stores all over Mendocino, but I would suggest that they are on her street she just does not know it. 10% of this country uses Marijuana regularly and over 30% have tried it at least once.
This is a very important point. Unjust laws cannot be enforced. People will not comply and that will erode the legitimacy of our rule of law. It creates a barrier between the law enforcement and the community that knows the law is wrong, breaking down communication and trust essential for effective law enforcement to stop real crimes.
I know because I spent six months in the Norton Correctional facility for cultivating organic marijuana for my wife during her two year fight with stage three bladder cancer.
She had severe allergic reactions to the drugs used to fight pain and other side effects of treatment.
In addition I was told that she would die if the cancer had spread beyond the wall of the bladder, so I was preparing for a long fight. The difference it made in the quality of life for my wife during those years made it worth my time in prison.
Unless you have seen first hand what a difference it makes in the life of a person suffering from one of the many diseases and ailments marijuana is effective for, you can only speak from ignorance. Everyone has a right to be ignorant but we should never tolerate public policy based on anything but well established facts.
I promised when I returned from prison that I would fight and “Educate to Legislate” until the laws are changed. For that reason my wife Sharon and I got together with Esau Freeman, and founded a 501(c)(4), Kansas for Change Inc.
We are registered with the IRS and Kansas Secty. Of State.
All our members shall remain confidential unless they want to stand publicly. We recently submitted HB 2198 with the assistance of Gail Finney (D-Wichita) and Vern Swanson (R-Clay Center.) through the Vision 20/20 committee. Our Friend Senator David Haley (D-K.C.) introduced the Senate version. Kansas for Change is committed to sensible Cannabis reform. It is our mission to educate the public and the legislature on the real scientific facts regarding all uses of Hemp, agricultural, medical and recreational.
We encourage our colleges and civic groups to openly discuss this important issue.
We will provide DVDs, speakers and printed material including a blind peer reviewed study on Medical Marijuana, and the superiority of bio diesel made from hemp, for any group that asks.
No more myths and lies.
People are suffering, our jails are overcrowded and lives are being ruined every day because of unjust laws.
Mike Morton Kansas State Lobbyist Kansas for Change Inc.