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Another cannabis stall in committee! It’s time to identify members stalling legalized cannabis in Kansas, publicize the our financial situation, then focus on discussions of how Kansas is going to reduce expenses for 2021.

Personnel, benefits, retirement programs, travel, training, staff, law enforcement, information technology, social programs and infrastructure will need to be reduced. No agency is exempt, including lawmaker budgets. Not open to new revenue sources such as legalized cannabis? You owe the citizens of Kansas a reduced budget for 2021 since you can’t identify new revenue sources without increasing current revenue sources.

If you don’t want to manage cannabis in Kansas, then continue with the expense of letting cannabis manage Kansas. Oklahoma counties bordering Texas such as Carter County and bordering Kansas such as Garfield County have larger per capita cannabis sales than many other Oklahoma counties as do bordering Colorado counties and the near future Missouri counties. Do you really believe that people in Garfield County are really smoking their limit of medical cannabis?

The last Kansas budget proposed a 2.5% salary increase, “to stay competitive” while keeping the pension package alone. If staying competitive means staying competitive with the private sector, news flash, they have realized long ago that the pension packages of our fathers is cost prohibitive and opted for something less expensive with more employee participation.

This pandemic put a focus on lawmakers “doing business as usual.” Time for citizens to look at our lawmakers during this budget and election year.

Mike Mendez, Basehor

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