Friends of medical marijuana advocate continue push for legalization

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) – When or if Kansas lawmakers will take up the issue of medical marijuana legalization remains a large unknown. It’s an issue that’s been debated for years in Kansas and faces roadblocks in Topeka. Monday, 12 News spoke with friends of a longtime advocate that are keeping up his work.

While in treatment in his fight against cancer, friends say, David Auble, a U.S. Army veteran who lived in Paradise, Kan., sought changes to get medical marijuana legalized in the Sunflower State.

“He managed to travel out of state a few times, and he noticed it did help when he did use it,” Auble’s friend, Chris Howell, said.

Howell even drove Auble to Topeka to speak before lawmakers. But in every session he attended, the goal was left incomplete.

“It’s kind of like the Charlie Brown and Lucy pulling the ball every year,” Howell said of the push to legalize medical marijuana in Kansas. “I watch it, and I watched Dave fight with them every year. Every year, something happens, and it doesn’t go through.”

Last May, Auble died.

“He had a great big heart. It was huge,” Howell said. “He had love for everybody. That’s the way I want to remember him.”

Howell said it was about a week later he lost another friend to cancer. It made that period a tough time.

“We lost an employee here at GA, Curtis Bunting; he passed away a week following Dave of cancer that he fought for the last ten years, too,” he said.

Howell and other friends of Auble continue the advocacy for him and are hopeful to see medical marijuana someday legalized in Kansas.

“It would definitely make a lot of the work he did worthwhile because he wasn’t doing it just for himself,” Howell said. “He was doing it to help everybody, which is what it would do.”

Howell is currently caring for Auble’s 15-year-old dog Bare, who served as a constant companion for Auble.

Early February included the introduction of two bills introduced to the Kansas Senate to legalize medical marijuana. So far, hearings for those bills haven’t been scheduled.

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