Kansas Cops Just Busted a Terminally Ill Patient For Vaping THC in a Hospital
Cops are trying to drag a 69-year-old cancer patient into court and send him to prison, even though he only has weeks to live.
Published on December 28, 2022

Two weeks before Christmas, Kansas cops busted a bedridden cancer patient for using medical cannabis products to help ease the pain of his terminal illness.

Greg Bretz, a 69-year-old terminal cancer patient, was admitted to the Hays Medical Center three weeks ago after his symptoms became unmanageable. Doctors told the patient that he only had a few weeks to live, as his illness was now inoperable. Bretz told The Wichita Eagle that he is in so much pain at this point that laying “flat on his back” is all that he can manage.

During his final stay at the hospital, Bretz was using a cannabis vape and some edible THC paste to help ease the painful symptoms of his illness. The attending doctor was compassionate enough to allow him to use any kind of relief that he deemed fit, as there was nothing else the facility could do to treat his cancer. Other hospital staff were far less caring, though, and one employee eventually ratted him out to the cops for vaping in his room.

Thirty-seven US states allow terminally ill cancer patients like Bretz to legally treat their symptoms with safe and effective medical marijuana products. But sadly, Kansas is one of twelve US states that continue to prohibit all forms of cannabis other than low-THC CBD oils. The Sunflower State's cannabis law is even more restrictive than these other 11 states, as it specifically bans CBD oils that contain even a trace of THC. Only Idaho and Nebraska, which ban even federally-legal CBD medicines, have more extreme cannabis prohibition laws than Kansas.

Three cops busted into Bretz's room on December 16 and seized his medicine. The officers explained that the vape pen was a fire hazard because the room was equipped with flammable oxygen supplies. The vape oil was mostly CBD, though, with little to no THC content, so cops instead focused on the THC paste, which unquestionably violates the state's draconian cannabis laws. Bretz was charged with cannabis possession and assigned a court date of January 2.

Bretz is completely bedridden, though, and can't even stand up unassisted. If he doesn't turn up for his court date next week, the judge is likely to issue an arrest warrant for him. At that point, cops would be allowed to drag the dying man to prison. Kansas has yet to pass even a simple cannabis decriminalization law, so Bretz faces a misdemeanor charge punishable by 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Kansas has a long history of throwing insane sentences at medical cannabis users. In one typical case, a cancer-surviving seizure patient could end up serving 25 years in state prison for growing one single pot plant for medicinal use. Local cops have raided several local hemp stores for selling federally-legal delta-8 THC products as well. Lawmakers are currently working to pass an actual medical cannabis law, but it remains to be seen whether the highly conservative state legislature will finally agree to approve any law associated with legal cannabis.

As a last recourse, Bretz is planning to contact the prosecutor and ask to have his court date postponed. With only weeks to live, a postponement would allow the dying patient to pass on before the court gets a chance to force him to spend the last few days of his life in jail.

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Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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