Different states have very different policies regarding recreational and medicinal marijuana; Just weeks before New Yorkers stopped by the state’s first recreational dispensary, police raided the hospital room of a terminally ill Kansas man as he used a THC vape to treat his symptoms. cancer
On Dec. 16, Greg Bretz was taken to Hays Medical Center in Hays, Kansas, after a hospital worker found him smoking marijuana, local media reported this week. Bretz said he was vaping and eating THC paste with bread to treat the symptoms of his illness. Read on to find out what happened that day, what the police chief has to say about it, and what’s next.
“It all went south”
Bretz was hospitalized with terminal, inoperable cancer about three weeks ago. He most often lies “on his back” in a hospital bed and cannot stand up without help. The 69-year-old man told Kansas City Star that her doctor advised her to do whatever she wanted if it made her feel better, including foods containing THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, because she had no access to medical treatment other than hospice care.
“The chemo wasn’t very kind to him, so he was looking into a few other options and it seemed to help him a bit, but things went south when he was handed over by one of the hospital staff.” Lee Bretz, son of Greg Bretz, local station KSNW said.
THC paste seized, ticket issued
Police told Bretz that his vaporizer was a potential fire hazard because the room contained supplemental oxygen. In many vaporizers, inhalation activates a battery-powered heating device. In some cases, these heating devices burned people who were equipped with oxygen tubes. Bretz did not use oxygen.
He said Star that the police intended to confiscate his THC paste, which he claimed was medicine. He was charged with drug possession and was scheduled to appear in court on January 2. But the story does not end there.
The police chief responds
Hays Police Chief Don Schibler told KSNW that reports of a break-in at the hospital room were inaccurate and that the department pushed back after the story broke. He said hospital staff called the police because “they were concerned about the potential fire hazard, but more importantly, they were also concerned about how it would make him feel sick.”
Bretz was initially ticketed, but “the officer as he was leaving the building did not feel comfortable writing the ticket,” Scheibler said. “On that day, the officer sent a letter to the city attorney asking for the charges to be dropped.” The charge was dismissed on Tuesday.
“The damage is done to him”
Lee Bretz, Greg Bretz’s son, told KSNW he’s thankful the ticket was dismissed, but he wishes the incident hadn’t happened at all. “Well, it makes me feel good, but it still doesn’t stop the fact that, you know, the damage was done to him,” Lee said. “We only want the best for our loved ones, you know.” “Kansas really needs to legalize medical marijuana and help those who really need it,” he added.
“We need to address this issue,” says the chief
Medical marijuana is still illegal in three states: Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho. In Kansas, 68 percent of state residents support legal access to medical cannabis, according to National Marijuana Law Reform Organization (NORMAL). Shibler said the conversation in Kansas must continue. “We shouldn’t have laws on the books that we don’t want enforced, and if we want us to be compassionate, if we want us to help people, we have to address this in some way,” he said. to KSNW.