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Law Kentucky

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Wow, and I think Kentucky still has dry counties...or they did 20 years ago.


Kentucky Lawsuit: Judge Asks State Why MMJ Is Still Prohibited
Is medical marijuana a “political question” or a liberty issue? One Kentucky Judge will have to decide.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Judge Thomas Wingate asked Governor Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear’s legal team why he should reject a lawsuit calling for the legalization of medicinal cannabis in the Bluegrass State.

Filed in July, the motion placed before the Franklin Circuit Court asked the judge to consider whether or not medical marijuana is a political question that should be decided by the General Assembly, according to Kentucky.com.

“The General Assembly will consider legalizing medicinal marijuana again in the 2018 session. It is solely within the General Assembly’s constitutional powers to determine whether to make medicinal marijuana lawful,” noted Barry Dunn, an attorney for Gov. Bevin.

Nevertheless, the litigants — Dan Seum Jr., Amy Stalker, and Danny Belcher, strongly disagree.

After years of unsuccessfully lobbying the state’s General Assembly to consider legalizing medical marijuana, the plaintiffs allege that Kentucky’s ban on marijuana infringes on their state rights provided within the Kentucky Constitution: “Section 2. Absolute and arbitrary power denied. Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty, and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.”

While Gov. Bevin and A.G. Beshear both want the lawsuit dismissed, their ideology on the timely topic differs significantly. The governor has repeatedly claimed that he supports the legalization of medicinal cannabis, but not for recreational adult use. On the other side of the prohibition spectrum, Kentucky’s Atty. Gen. noted during his 2015 campaign that he was adamantly opposed to legalizing medical marijuana until the FDA authorized the herb as medicine.

In the Bluegrass State, individuals caught with less than 8 ounces of marijuana face a class B misdemeanor. And if the police seize your pot, and there’s no tax stamp affixed to the baggie or bottle, you can easily be charged with a class C felony for a tax violation in addition to getting caught with your meds.

Anticipated to rule soon, Judge Wingate asked one attorney for the state to justify Kentucky’s “absolute ban on marijuana, given that his own experience as a judge has shown many examples of men abusing women while drunk on alcohol, a legal product, but never while high on marijuana.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Kentucky's Senate president is under fire for suggesting that medical marijuana patients should try some Woodford Reserve bourbon if they need to "feel better."

So, if I call someone a moron...that's name calling and properly verboten. However, the above statement is moronic....an adjective applied to the though expressed rather than the speaker. There is a difference.



Comparing medical marijuana to booze? This lawmaker must've been drunk


Cassie Everett takes what seems like a whole apothecary full of pills each day to minimize the number and severity of her epileptic seizures.

She sets alarms to remind her when to take the 10 medications throughout the day. It's hard to remember what pill to take when, especially since the drugs keep her in a fog most of the time.

One doctor told her she needs to move to a state where she can get a prescription for medical marijuana that might allow her to ditch some of the pills and restore some of the function she loses each time she takes a dose.

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers had a different idea for her the other day while speaking to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Have a bourbon.

Read this: Medical marijuana, hemp could be a lifeline for small Kentucky farmers

That’s right, the Republican leader of the Kentucky Senate compared medical marijuana to Woodford Reserve bourbon and said that if people need to “relax” or “feel better,” they ought to just sit back with a glass of Woodford.

Just have an old fashioned or a highball and all your troubles will melt away.

It's not that easy, Sen. Stivers.

Cassie Everett wishes it were.

Never has one of Everett’s doctors told her to pour a couple fingers of bourbon into a glass. None have given her a prescription for a boilermaker or suggested a mint julep would do the trick.

At best, what Stivers said was a bad joke.

At worst it was a callous disregard for the real problems that could be alleviated by medical marijuana if Kentucky legislators showed any real concern for the people they represent who struggle with illnesses and diseases and the costly drugs often used to treat them.

Everett was first diagnosed with epilepsy at age 11 when a teacher noticed that she was staring off into space in class. It turns out she was having what is called a "petite mal" seizure.

Related: If you have one of these conditions, Kentucky may let you use marijuana

She had a type of juvenile epilepsy that normally responds well to medication and will often go away by the time the person reaches adulthood. Doctors told her there was a 70 percent chance she'd outgrow it.

But when she was 17 she had a "grand mal" seizure, the type with the clinched teeth, strained muscles and wild convulsions that many people think of when they think of epilepsy.

Everett said her mother, who was with her at the time, told her the seizure lasted a full five minutes. Five grueling minutes. About twice as long as the typical "grand mal" seizure.

The news from her doctor wasn't good. The seizures would continue and, in fact, they would get worse over time, he said.

The meds worked at first. Just one prescription. They kept the horrible fits at bay for several years.

But after her daughter was born nine years ago, Everett's seizures came more often. Her doctors upped her dosages, gave her more and different medications, and upped those doses too.

The seizures kept coming — both kinds, the petite mal and grand mal seizures. "It got to the point they told me they didn’t know what to do."

See also: 'It's a mess': Kentucky Medicaid unclear on 'medically fragile' meaning

She quit her job as a third-grade teacher and went to work as a kindergarten assistant, hoping that reducing stress would mean fewer seizures. She stopped driving because it was just too dangerous.

She's 31 years old and has to rely on family and friends for basic things like getting her daughter to cheerleading practice or going to the store.

"They upped my medicine, tried surgery ... a while back I got an implant that was supposed to help," Everett said. "I don't think it has."

"And then the side effects. As they have a lot of pills, I've gotten more and more exhausted. My husband points out that I talk slower than I used to. When I hear an old recording of myself, I hear it too. I'm just slower to process things. Sometimes when I'm walking, I get dizzy and lose my balance."

She struggles to keep her thoughts straight.

"It's like I'm a walking zombie," Everett said. "Some days I'll do great, sometimes I feel like medicine head."

Everette said her pediatric neurologist, who she still visits on occasion, thinks medical marijuana will help her get off some of her medications and help her regain some of what the medications have taken from her.

Read this: As pension costs rise, agencies cut jobs — which hurts pension funding

Her other neurologist isn't quite as certain but still believes she would be a good candidate for medical marijuana. Thirty-two states already allow it.

Kentucky doesn't. And Stivers is a skeptic of medical marijuana.

He said that until someone shows him evidence that it works, he's going to oppose it. And when the president of the state Senate opposes something, there is virtually no chance of it passing.

And the problem is that there is plenty of evidence that marijuana can help with numerous diseases, including neurological disorders, pain and complications from AIDS and chemotherapy. It may even slow the growth of certain types of cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of three drugs that are made from components of marijuana or synthetic drugs that mimic substances found in pot. One treats some types of epileptic seizures and two suppress nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and AIDS.

We know there are benefits from marijuana. The one thing we don’t have a good handle on is whether or not those benefits outweigh potential health risks.

The federal government has made it difficult for scientists to study marijuana since 1970 by classifying it as an addictive drug with no medical benefit, making it difficult to get long-term data on pot usage.

And even though we don’t have a lot of good, long-term research about a drug that has been used for 3,000 years to treat illnesses, Everett is willing to take her chances.

"All the side effects from all these medicines are horrible," she said. "I can't imagine (medical marijuana) would have side effects that bad."

And as far as Stivers' suggestion that people like Everett just chill out and knock back a few, Everett has a better idea for him.

"He should live a day in my shoes," she said. "And see if a drink fixes anything."
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Well... while Kentucky may have a ways to go till they see medical cannabis, they seem to be embracing hemp.


First HempWood Factory Opening In Murray, Kentucky Thanks To A New Startup
A start-up has opened a factory that converts hemp fibers and proteins into a viable substitute for wood.

A new hemp factory has opened that will specialize in producing a sustainably sourced wood substitute. HempWood, operated by a company called Fibonacci LLC, is the brainchild of owner Greg Wilson and his experience working with Chinese bamboo technology. His process purports to mimic the growth algorithm of oak trees to get a durable hemp product by mixing it with a soybean-based glue for a long-lasting building material.

For the moment, the factory is focused on manufacturing flooring materials, but a representative from the company says that in the future, the sky’s the limit on what they’ll be able to make with the substance.

HempWood decided to set up shop in Murray, a Kentucky town that could offer a partnership with Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture. Wilson has told the media that the school not only helped to link him with nearby hemp farmers to ensure a consistent supply of raw materials, but also assisted in the application for his processing license.

The school sees the benefit in having a partner in the state’s growing hemp industry “from internships to future jobs,” Murray State president Bob Jackson said at the plant’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Teaching and learning from an agricultural standpoint, business standpoint, chemistry standpoint, and I could go on and on.”


Company founder Greg Wilson has a background in materials science, and worked for nearly a decade in China in sustainable material factories. He says that when the 2014 US Farm Bill made it legal to use hemp for scientific research, he built a home laboratory and started exploring the possibilities of hemp. He came up with a process that creates a product 20 percent denser than oak.

“Hemp is a lot like strand-woven bamboo, except it’s less coarse,” explained John Crye, who handles direct sales and marketing for HempWood. “Bamboo is kind of a rough material and it will kind of chip, which makes it harder to work with. Hemp is much more woody so that gives it advantages over bamboo.”

Factory in the Works for Months
HempWood announced the new factory in March, but officially kicked off operations at the end of August, when the 11,230 square foot plant held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The factory currently employs eight people. Owners intend to double staffing by the end of the year, as they expand facilities to produce more hemp.


The company hopes to open eight more factories in the United States, and are aiming for the second facility to open by 2021. The Murray location cost $5.8 million to construct.

“We’re taking something that grows in six months and we’re able to replicate, or out perform, a tropical hardwood that grows in 200 years,” said Wilson, who added that you can grow a hemp stalk to maturity in six months, as compared to an oak tree’s 60 years of growing before it reaches maturation.

Indeed, the team sees the project as a major step towards prioritizing the environment in the middle of concerns over accelerating deforestation and climate change. “If a ship is sinking, what is the first thing you do?” Crye asked. “You patch the hole. I think a great way to patch the hole is to stop cutting down as many trees and HempWood is a solution to that.”


Kentucky is taking an active role in the US’ burgeoning hemp industry. The state, a one-time hemp production leader, is currently accepting applications for those who wish to grow the product.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Most Kentuckians Now Support Marijuana Legalization

In recent years, the landscape of support for marijuana legalization has dramatically changed. However, Kentucky is one of those more conservative states where the plant remains illegal, even for medicinal purposes. But, according to the recent 2019 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), in the last decade the state is seeing growing support in favor of legalization. For the first time, more than half of Kentuckians who were polled said they support any use of marijuana; almost everyone who participated in the survey said they supported the medicinal use of cannabis, and just under half supported recreational use.


“The shift in public opinion around marijuana policy is notable from KHIP 2012 to KHIP 2019,” Chubinski said. “However, it’s important to note that the policy landscape around marijuana has shifted considerably during that timeframe as well.


According to the results of the poll, 9 out of 10 people said they support medical marijuana use – which is up from almost 8 in 10 people back in 2012. More significantly, support for general marijuana use has risen from 38 percent in 2012 to a majority 59 percent in 2019, while support for recreational use has risen from 26 percent to 49 percent.

“Democrats were more likely than Republicans or independents to favor legalization under any circumstances or for recreational purposes,” said Jennifer Chubinski, Interact’s vice president of research and evaluation, in a statement.


The poll was conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research and it surveyed 1,559 adults in Kentucky. The report was sponsored by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health, and it came shortly after the 2019 Health Policy Conference, which had focused on the impact that reforming marijuana laws has on the general public.


The health conference cited the usual concerns from prohibitionists and conservatives – increased potency of the plant, uncertainty on how to ensure accurate dosage, preventing youth from using the plant, intoxicated driving and risk of accidental poisonings, among other things. As it stands now, reported teen use in Kentucky is down from 29 percent in 1997 to 16 percent in 2019. And it’s worth noting that according to the poll, 40 percent of Kentucky adults have a friend or family member who uses cannabis regularly – legal or not.


However, while officials may be concerned over all the usual things, other states have successfully implemented both medicinal and recreational legalization and citizens of the state clearly think Kentucky could as well. Whether or not lawmakers will take the opinion of their constituents into consideration and work to reform the laws surrounding cannabis in the state is something only time will tell. But, one thing is for certain, and that is the people of the state of Kentucky are ready to see it happen.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"House Minority Whip Angie Hatton, D-Whitesburg, voted in favor of the measure, saying 90% of Kentuckians want access to medicinal marijuana.​
“It’s time that we listen to them,” said Hatton.​

Yeah, well wait until they see this....I suspect that Ms. Hatton and others in the Kentucky legislature will get an earful.....so glad they want to listen (sigh)

"The bill would prohibit smoking of medicinal marijuana"​

Medicinal marijuana bills clears Kentucky House hurdle

A Kentucky House committee voted today to add Kentucky to the list of at least 33 other states with a government-regulated medicinal marijuana program.
The program would be established under House Bill 136, sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, and Rep. John Sims Jr., D-Flemingsburg, approved today by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill sets out policies for cultivation, processing, sale, distribution and use of medicinal marijuana, should HB 136 become law.

The bill would prohibit smoking of medicinal marijuana and possession or use of medical marijuana in specific public buildings. Users of the substance would have to be registered and possess a medical cannabis card. Cannabis businesses would have to be licensed.

Local governments and their citizens would have the authority to decide whether or not medical marijuana businesses can operate locally.

Although HB 136 would create revenue for law enforcement and other approved uses through excise taxes and other sources, Nemes said its primary purpose is to help the sick.

He asked members of the committee hypothetically if they would try to access medicinal marijuana if it could help someone they love.

“I would break the law in a second, and I would submit that every single person up there would do the same,” said Nemes. “I think you’re voting for whether or not people who are in that hypothetical situation would continue to be criminals or not.”

Eric Crawford, who testified alongside Nemes and Sims, told the committee that passage of HB 136 would keep him from being “viewed as a criminal in a state that I love.” The Mason County man said he uses marijuana—not opioids—to relieve pain and muscle spasms caused by debilitating injuries that he sustained in a 1994 accident.
“This isn’t about nothing else but sick people,” said Crawford.

House Health and Family Services Chair Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, voted against the bill, saying she has “serious concerns” with the legislation.
“I want to make sure that seriously ill patients get the appropriate treatment and care that they need and deserve,” said Moser. “I’m going to vote ‘no’ today because I think we need more research.”

House Minority Whip Angie Hatton, D-Whitesburg, voted in favor of the measure, saying 90% of Kentuckians want access to medicinal marijuana.
“It’s time that we listen to them,” said Hatton.

HB 136 now returns to the full House for further action.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Primary sponsor Rep. Jason Nemes (R) defended the measure against skeptics, saying a series of floor amendments made it “the tightest medical marijuana law in the country.” The amendments include a ban on smoking medical marijuana"


Enough said....another Potemkin Villiage of a med program.

Kentucky House passes medical marijuana bill after decade of failed attempts

Kentucky’s state House on Thursday passed a measure that would legalize medical marijuana in the state after several unsuccessful earlier attempts.
The bill passed the chamber in a 65-30 vote, with all but two Democrats and a majority of Republican members present voting for it, the Courier-Journal reported.

The measure’s path is uncertain in the state Senate; Senate President Robert Stivers (R) has suggested he believes further research is needed into medical marijuana’s effectiveness before it should be legalized.

The bill, House Bill 136, would establish a regulatory framework for patients to obtain cannabis with a doctor’s prescription at approved dispensaries, under the auspices of the renamed Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control.

Primary sponsor Rep. Jason Nemes (R) defended the measure against skeptics, saying a series of floor amendments made it “the tightest medical marijuana law in the country.” The amendments include a ban on smoking medical marijuana, the option for counties to opt out and a ban on public usage, the newspaper reported.
Discussing the bill’s chances of success in the Senate, Nemes later told reporters “we have momentum, but we're not there yet.”

Stivers, meanwhile, said Thursday he believes the measure has a “narrow path” to clearing the Senate, adding “I think people are going to look at it and consider it.”
Nemes, meanwhile, told reporters “House Bill 136 is that narrow path,” adding "I think a majority of his members will agree with it, and I'm going to ask [Stivers] to give us a vote.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Medical marijuana bills challenge Bible Belt politics

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Facing a potentially historic vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, Republican lawmaker John Schickel is conflicted.

A retired law enforcement officer, Schickel once steadfastly opposed medical cannabis, but his stance has softened. Now he says he’s approaching the question with an open mind.

“One side of me says that with all the drug abuse we have right now, why are we opening up another avenue of abuse?” the state senator said in an interview.

“But the flip side of it is, if there are people who need medical attention and truly believe that it will help them, who are we to say they can’t have it?”

Schickel’s dilemma stands as yet another sign that views about marijuana are changing across the South, where efforts to legalize it have long been stymied by Bible Belt politics. While medical cannabis is legal now in 33 states, including Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida, other Southern states remain among the holdouts.

Whether wavering resistance will lead to legalization remains unclear. After years of setbacks, the Kentucky bill’s supporters cleared a historic hurdle when the House passed the measure. The Senate appears more skeptical.

Lawmakers in other Southern states are also cautiously eyeing changes, though there’s reason for hope among advocates.

In Alabama, a medical marijuana bill won approval in the Alabama Senate as advocates make headway after years of setbacks. The legislation moves to the state House next.

And in Mississippi, voters will decide for themselves whether to legalize medical marijuana in November, after a group submitted more than enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. But that ballot question might have competition.

The Mississippi House voted to put a second medical marijuana proposal on the statewide ballot this year. People who petitioned to get the first one there say the second is designed to split the vote and kill both proposals. The alternative proposal would go on the ballot only if it is also approved by the state Senate.

The Kentucky bill would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis that patients could obtain at approved dispensaries in forms such as pills and oils. Smoking medical cannabis would not be permitted. A regulatory board would determine what conditions would qualify for prescriptions. The House-passed version would ensure that approved conditions would include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and nausea or vomiting.

Opposition has come from socially conservative lawmakers who warn that legalizing medical cannabis would push Kentucky off a slippery slope leading to recreational use of the drug.

“Marijuana isn’t just a carefree, happy-go-lucky kind of thing you just do on a whim,” Republican Rep. Stan Lee said. “It’s a drug. And I don’t think it’s good for our society. I don’t think it’s good for our people. And I fear that’s where we’re going — step by step.”

Looking to defuse that argument, the bill’s leading supporter said he too is opposed to recreational marijuana.

“This is not about fun,” Republican Rep. Jason Nemes said after House vote. “This is about healing. This is about health.”

Other opponents are uneasy about Kentucky getting ahead of federal marijuana policy. Despite increasing legalization in the states, marijuana remains federally classified as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD.

Others warn of aggressive marketing by the cannabis industry: “It’s an addiction-for-profit business model,” said Garth Van Meter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an alliance that says it promotes a health-first approach to marijuana policy.

And some say more research is needed on marijuana’s medicinal value before it’s prescribed.

“If it’s a drug, we’ll have the FDA deem it a drug and then allow our pharmacists to distribute it,” said Kentucky prosecutor Chris Cohron.

Supporters see these arguments as misdirection meant to keep Kentucky out of step with most states.

“The research has been done, and Kentucky is ... behind on cannabis legislation,” said Jaime Montalvo, executive director of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana.

Now the bill’s fate is in the hands of the Senate, with just a few weeks left in this year’s session.

Republican Sen. Wil Schroder is among the undecideds. He said he’s always told voters he would be open-minded, and that hasn’t changed. But he said “there’s a lot of hesitancy from members, myself included, when the federal government hasn’t acted on this.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers are hearing an outpouring of support from medical marijuana advocates who want cannabis prescriptions for their medical conditions.

Choking with emotion, Schickel said a lunch conversation with a constituent battling brain cancer reinforced his willingess to take another look. “He was very passionate that it would help him,” Schickel said.

Among the more prominent advocates is Eric Crawford, who has become a fixture at the Kentucky Capitol.

Crawford has told lawmakers he already uses medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids to deal with pain and muscle spasms, the legacy of spinal cord injuries he suffered in a vehicle crash decades ago.

“I just want to be comfortable,” Crawford said in an interview. “Medical cannabis just makes me comfortable ... and takes care of my pain and spasms better than the pharmaceuticals can.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Kentucky Lawmakers File Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana As Governor Steps Up Call For Reform


Kentucky lawmakers have filed a new bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state just as the governor made a call for the reform during a State of the Commonwealth address on Thursday.

The legislation is being sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes (R), who also introduced a medical cannabis bill that passed the House last year but later died in the Senate.

“Speaking of laws that unduly restrict us from growth and innovation, it is time to legalize medical marijuana,” Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said during his speech, adding that he also wants to allow sports betting.

Under the newly introduced bill, the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control would be responsible for regulating the market.

Medical marijuana sales would be exempt from a state excise tax under the proposal—a provision that’s the subject of debate between legislators and the governor’s office. Beshear wants to tax cannabis to generate revenue, but some top lawmakers have pushed back, insisting that a medicine shouldn’t be taxed.

There are no set conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana. Rather, it could be authorized for any condition that a physician deems fit.

Patients could purchase up to a 30-day supply of cannabis, an amount that will be determined by the regulatory agency.

Personal cultivation would not be permitted under the legislation. There are also provisions outlining penalties for violating the law, which includes driving while under the influence of marijuana.

Revenue from licensing and registration fees, in addition to monies collected from penalties, will go to a medical marijuana trust fund, which will be administered through the state Finance and Administration Cabinet.

Sixty percent of that revenue will go toward covering enforcement, 2.5 percent will be used for implementation and setting up a grant program to promote cannabis research, 13.75 percent will cover a grant program for local law enforcement, 13.75 percent will go to dispensaries to help cover costs for low-income patients and 10 percent will cover additional administrative costs.

There would be a 12 percent excise tax on marijuana sales between cultivators, processors and producers, 80 percent of which would go to the medical cannabis trust fund and 20 percent of which would go to local governments.

“It’s encouraging to see that Rep. Jason Nemes and other legislative champions are continuing the fight for medical cannabis in Kentucky,” Matt Simon, senior legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment. “Last year’s bill was derailed, in part, by the pandemic, but in 2021 there will be no excuse for failing to finish the job and pass HB 136.”

The bill is likely to be taken up during the short, 30-day legislative session that started this week in Kentucky. But again, the tax issue will have to be resolved between lawmakers and the governor.

“If you’re taking that approach, that it’s a money generator, then you’re not thinking about the medicinal or therapeutic value,” Senate President Robert Stivers II (R) said in a recent interview, adding that “treating it differently than any other drug, which in and of itself is wrong.”

Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey (D) said this week that it’s “past time for medical marijuana in Kentucky,” and he stressed that reform legislation should go to a vote this session. He added that separate Senate legislation to legalize medical cannabis could be introduced this year.

Meanwhile, a House resolution that was introduced this week calls for “expediting of research regarding the safety and efficacy of the use of marijuana for medical purposes.”

A poll released last year found that nine out of 10 Kentuckians support legalizing medical cannabis, and almost six in ten (59 percent) say marijuana should be legal “under any circumstances.”

There’s hope among advocates that enacting a cannabis policy change in Kentucky could add pressure on current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to adopt a more reform-friendly position on the issue. That said, with Democrats reclaiming the majority in the Senate following two Georgia runoff elections, he will soon become minority leader and lose the ability to determine which legislation comes to the floor for a vote. Still, as the leader of his party in a 50-50 divided Senate, his position on cannabis issues will hold sway that could help determine the extent of the reforms that can be achieved.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Kentucky Lawmaker Pre-Files Marijuana Legalization Bills For 2022 Session


A Kentucky lawmaker announced on Monday that she is pre-filing bills to legalize possession, limited sales and home cultivation of marijuana in the state for the 2022 session, with endorsements from several leading advocacy groups.

Rep. Nima Kulkarni (D) is taking a dual-track approach to the reform, with one bill to have the legislature adopt the policy as a statutory measure and another to enact legalization through a constitutional amendment that would go before voters.

Generally speaking, the measures would accomplish the same central objective of ending prohibition, but Kulkarni said they’re meant to complement each other by giving lawmakers an opportunity to pass legalization in the short-term while allowing voters to constitutionally enact the reform as a “more permanent fix that gives cannabis use the constitutional protection it deserves.”

“I am sponsoring these bills for several reasons, any one of which should be enough for them to become law,” the sponsor said in a press release.

“First, current cannabis statutes have needlessly and tragically ruined many lives, especially people of color who have suffered because of unequal enforcement,” she said. “Second, thousands of citizens, from cancer patients to veterans suffering from PTSD, should have the right to use something that gives them the mental and physical relief they deserve without relying on stronger, potentially addictive medicine. Third, cannabis decriminalization would give the state a much-needed source of reliable revenue without raising current taxes a single cent.”

Kulkarni further noted that polls “have repeatedly shown a majority of Kentuckians backs decriminalization and allowing cannabis to be used responsibly by adults.”

Under one of the lawmaker’s pre-filed bills, a constitutional amendment would be placed on the ballot if three-fifths of the House and Senate approve it during next year’s legislative session. If passed by voters, adults 21 and older would be able to possess, purchase and sell up to one ounce of cannabis. They could also grow up to five plants for personal use.

The measure would task the General Assembly with coming up with regulations on matters such as licensing and taxes.

The separate statutory proposal would similarly remove criminal penalties for low-level possession, cultivation and sale of cannabis. It would also amend state statute so that marijuana paraphernalia would no longer be criminalized and create a pathway for people to have their cannabis convictions expunged.

Neither measure creates a regulatory structure for commercial marijuana sales, something that would be subject to separate legislation.

“Because of outdated and ill-enforced laws, thousands of Kentuckians have lost time and opportunities due to criminal convictions, and thousands more have suffered needlessly because Kentucky blocks cannabis’ medicinal use,” ACLU of Kentucky said. “It is past time for the commonwealth to join the 36 other states that have removed most if not all of these barriers, which is why we are proud to add our name to those supporting Rep. Nima Kulkarni’s legislation.”

While Kentucky is well-known for its hemp industry, broader reform has consistently stalled.

The Republican sponsor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky said last month that he made multiple revisions to the legislation to scale it back and add restrictions to garner more support from colleagues—and he said he’s confident it would pass if legislative leaders had the “courage” to simply allow a vote on it.

Rep. Jason Nemes (R) filed a medical legalization bill that soundly passed the House last year but later died in the Senate without a vote amid the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. He reintroduced the legislation in January for the 2021 session but it did not advance this year. Now he’s working to build support for a new version for 2022.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is in favor of medical marijuana legalization and called on lawmakers to pass the reform during a State of the Commonwealth address in January.

Passing an adult-use marijuana legalization bill would presumably be a much larger challenge in the conservative legislature, but the proposal has the backing of several prominent groups.

Mike Conway, state director for Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky, said the pre-filed bills “would move Kentucky away from the harmful policies that have criminalized the use and possession of marijuana.”

“Criminal enforcement of marijuana possession has unnecessarily brought thousands of Kentuckians into the criminal justice system while diverting law enforcement resources away from public safety priorities such as violent crime reduction,” he said.

Matthew Bratcher, executive director for Kentucky NORML, said the group “commends Representative Kulkarni in her efforts to reform the cannabis possession laws in our commonwealth, and we encourage other legislators from both sides of the aisle to join her in making a difference in the lives of many of Kentuckians.”

“We’re at the precipice of the opening of the cannabis industry here in Kentucky,” C.J. Carter, Kentucky state director for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, said. “This is indeed a dangerous moment in time for Black and Brown people. There’s a new multi-billion dollar industry that will soon open on both the Federal and State level while simultaneously, people who look like me remain criminalized behind bars and are once again being left out of the conversation.”

“We now have the opportunity to write a different narrative in Kentucky that would benefit us first and foremost,” he said. “The State of Kentucky and its history as it relates to cannabis owes a tremendous debt to the Black Community and that starts with this legislation that is being introduced by Rep. Kulkarni.”

Read the text of the pre-filed Kentucky marijuana legalization bills by following title link and scrolling to the bottom of the article.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Kentucky Takes First Step Toward Legal Recreational Cannabis

The Bluegrass State of Kentucky could be the next to legalize recreational cannabis, via a pair of bills filed on Monday.

A Democratic lawmaker in Kentucky on Monday took the first legislative steps toward legalizing cannabis in the Bluegrass State.

State Rep. Nima Kulkarni, who represents Louisville, prefiled a pair of bills that would upend the way cannabis consumers are treated there.

The first bill would “would amend the state’s constitution, permitting Kentuckians 21 and older to possess, use, buy or sell up to one ounce of cannabis without criminal penalty. Kentuckians would also be allowed to have up to five plants for personal use,” local television station LEX 18 reported.

The other would “would have the legislature eliminate criminal penalties for possessing, cultivating, and/or selling small amounts of cannabis,” the station explained, and “would also remove cannabis accessories from the state’s drug-paraphernalia statutes.”

“I am sponsoring these bills for several reasons, any one of which should be enough for them to become law,” Kulkarni said in a statement that was reported on by local TV station WLKY. “First, current cannabis statutes have needlessly and tragically ruined many lives, especially people of color who have suffered because of unequal enforcement. Second, thousands of citizens, from cancer patients to veterans suffering from PTSD, should have the right to use something that gives them the mental and physical relief they deserve without relying on stronger, potentially addictive medicine. Third, cannabis de-criminalization would give the state a much-needed source of reliable revenue without raising current taxes a single cent. And, finally, polls have repeatedly shown a majority of Kentuckians backs de-criminalization and allowing cannabis to be used responsibly by adults.”

LEX 18 reported that Kulkarni’s proposed constitutional amendment legalizing cannabis “would need to be approved by three-fifths of the House and Senate during the upcoming 2022 legislative session, before going in front of voters next November.”

The state’s legislative session is scheduled to begin in January.

A poll last year found that 59 percent of Kentuckians are in favor of legalizing cannabis—a whopping 20-point spike in merely seven years.

But that doesn’t mean that Kulkarni’s two bills are a sure-thing, particularly given the general assembly’s recent history.


The state’s House of Representatives passed a bill in February 2020 legalizing medical cannabis treatment, but the legislation fizzled out after the COVID-19 pandemic brought business to a standstill.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, urged lawmakers late last year to renew their efforts to get the bill over the line. As a gubernatorial candidate in 2019, Beshear had spoken out against harsh penalties, including prison time, for cannabis consumers.

Kulkarni’s moves on Monday harken back to former Democratic Kentucky Rep. Cluster Howard, who in 2019 also prefiled a bill that would have legalized marijuana use for adults aged 21 and older and decriminalized marijuana possession of less than an ounce. Howard’s bill also would have created a regulated market for the sale of cannabis.

“Other states have shown that legalizing cannabis for adult use is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Howard said at the time. “It’s a major revenue generator. It frees up critical jail and prison space. It helps counteract the deadly opioid epidemic. And it gives farmers a major new cash crop. The longer we wait, the more we miss out on these benefits.”

There were more than 20,000 arrests for possession and sale of cannabis in Kentucky between 2014 and 2016.

The ACLU said last year that Black Kentuckians “are 9.4 times more likely than white Kentuckians to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite both groups having similar national marijuana use rates,” a rate that “is second only to Montana, where Black people are 9.6 times more likely to be arrested than white people.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Kentucky Governor Wants To Let Farmers Sell Marijuana To Other States


The governor of Kentucky says medical marijuana is “the future,” and part of that future should involve letting farmers grow cannabis to sell to other states.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) talked about how legalizing medical marijuana is a priority for him in the coming legislative session during an interview with 44 News that aired on Wednesday. He also expressed openness to broader legislation that would allow adults 21 and older to grow and possess cannabis without having a medical reason for it.

“This is the future. It’s where things are going,” he said of medical marijuana. “It’s time we joined so many other states in doing the right thing.”

Beshear, who called on lawmakers to pass the reform during a State of the Commonwealth address in January, said that “it is past time” to legalize cannabis for medical use and that the plant “can provide some relief for folks that would otherwise turn to more damaging substances.”

Kentucky is uniquely situated to benefit from the policy change, he added.

“Kentucky and our topography, our farmers could benefit significantly from legalization of medicinal marijuana and then allowing them to grow medicinal marijuana for other states,” the governor said.

It’s not exactly clear what he’s referring to with respect to interstate commerce of marijuana. While hemp can be transported across state lines because it was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, such actively is still strictly prohibited when it comes to marijuana regardless of state laws.

There are some activists and lawmakers who are hoping to get some federal guidance on the possibility of selling marijuana between legal states without prosecution. A coalition of cannabis organizations recently began rallying the business community to join them in asking governors from four key states to seek such guidance from the Justice Department.

As it stands, each state cannabis market is siloed within its own state borders. That means, for example, that marijuana sold and consumed in Massachusetts is also grown there instead of being grown in, say, California, where it might make more environmental sense to conduct outdoor cultivation.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has already signaled that she’d be on board, signing a bill in 2019 that would allow marijuana to be imported and exported from other states if federal law or policy provides for it. Activists had hoped to get similar legislation enacted in California last year, but the coronavirus pandemic derailed that.

Two congressional lawmakers who’ve already set the groundwork for the policy change are Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Shortly after Oregon’s governor signed the interstate commerce bill, the federal legislators filed a bill that would similarly allow for such activity, preventing the Justice Department from interfering in states that have affirmative agreements to sell marijuana across state lines. The legislation did not advance, however.

Back in Kentucky, the governor also said in the new interview that the state should be “open to conversations” about legalizing marijuana, and he voiced support for cannabis reform legislation that was recently pre-filed.

While Beshear says his focus will be on getting medical cannabis enacted in the coming legislative session, he also talked about legislation introduced by Rep. Nima Kulkarni (D) late last month would prevent people from being incarcerated over marijuana, saying he’s in favor of that policy.

Kulkarni’s bill would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis. So when the governor said in the interview that it would “not legalize recreational marijuana,” it seems he’s referring to the fact that the legislation doesn’t provide a regulatory framework for commercial sales.

“It just says that nobody ought to go to jail for simply using marijuana, and I agree with that,” Beshear said. “When when we look at folks that are using versus selling, we need better methods certainly than arrest and incarceration, but we also in the future ought to at least be open to conversations on the recreational side.”

The governor is all-in on medical cannabis, though. But he wants to ensure that regulations are strategically put in place so that the program is a success.

“We’ve got to have the right structure to make sure [a medical cannabis program] is not abused here in Kentucky—that it’s actually prescribed for medical purposes—and that requires having the right framework,” he said. “There’s no need to get in the weeds about what office or cabinet [should regulate cannabis], but we want to set it up to have an opportunity for success and not just to score political points.”

The Republican sponsor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky said in October that he made multiple revisions to the legislation to scale it back and add restrictions to garner more support from colleagues—and he said he’s confident it would pass if legislative leaders had the “courage” to simply allow a vote on it.

Rep. Jason Nemes (R) filed a medical legalization bill that soundly passed the House last year but later died in the Senate without a vote amid the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. He reintroduced the legislation in January for the 2021 session but it did not advance this year. Now he’s working to build support for a new version for 2022.

A poll released last year found that nine out of 10 Kentucky residents support legalizing medical marijuana, and almost 60 percent say cannabis should be legal under “any circumstances.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

New Republican-Led Bill Would Legalize Medical Cannabis In Kentucky


A new Republican-led bill to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky landed in the state legislature this week. The measure is an update to lead sponsor Rep. Jason Nemes’s (R) past legalization efforts and includes a number of conservative-minded adjustments aimed at wining broad support among lawmakers, including leaders of his own party who control the legislative agenda.

Nemes filed a medical legalization bill in 2020 that soundly passed the House but later died in the Senate without a vote amid the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. He reintroduced the legislation for the 2021 session, but it did not advance. In recent months, Nemes has working to build support for a new, scaled-back version of the bill for 2022 and in October said he was confident it could pass if only legislative leaders have the “courage” to allow a vote on it.

The latest version of the bill, HB 136, introduced Tuesday, would establish a comparatively restrictive program, prohibiting both the home cultivation of marijuana and the smoking of cannabis flower. Whole-plant products would be allowed under the bill, but patients would be required to vaporize them.

Regulators would set many of the program’s specific rules—for example qualifying conditions for medical cannabis and personal possession limits—during an implementation period later this year if the bill passes. At a minimum, the conditions will include any type of cancer, epilepsy and seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, nausea or vomiting and chronic, severe, intractable or debilitating pain.

“Overall it’s a pretty solid but conservative bill,” Kevin Caldwell, Southeast legislative manager for Marijuana Policy Project told Marijuana Moment.

The program would launch in early 2023 if the legislation is approved.

The narrow approach is designed to win support among GOP leaders in the state Senate, who’ve killed past versions of Nemes’s proposal. Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R), for example, steadfastly opposes the change, having warned that it’s a fast track to full legalization.

“I know my constituents are for it,” Thayer, who owns a whiskey distillery, said during a televised panel on Monday. “But this is a republic, and they elect us to go to Frankfort and make decisions on their behalf—and if they don’t like it, they can take it out on me in the next election.”

Others remain wary, such as House Speaker Pro Tempore David Meade (R), who said at the event that he’s still “on the fence” about medical cannabis.

Democratic leaders from both chambers, meanwhile, said earlier this week that legalizing medical marijuana will be a top legislative priority for this year’s session, which kicked off on Tuesday.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) also supports legalization, saying last month that “It’s time we joined so many other states in doing the right thing.” He added that Kentucky farmers would be well positioned to grow and sell cannabis to other states.

Among the more innovative parts of the new bill, said Caldwell at MPP, are provisions that would ban discrimination against cannabis patients in areas such as child custody matters and organ transplants. Students who use medical marijuana would be permitted to consume it on campus under the administration of a school nurse.

The legislation would also establish what it calls a “rating system” system to track at least 12 major terpenes within each cannabis strain available in the commonwealth.

Patients would be able to have a 10-day supply of marijuana products outside the home and up to a 30-day supply secured at their residence. Those amounts are still poorly defined, however, as the bill leaves it to regulators to determine what constitutes a day’s worth of cannabis.

Products would be subject to a 12 percent excise tax and taxes on gross receipts, with revenues split between state and local governments. Of all state revenue, 13.75 percent would go to local law enforcement to help enforce the new law.

Business licensing would be fairly flexible, with no caps on license numbers or rules about vertical integration, as some other states have implemented.

Caldwell at MPP said the group generally supports the bill, though there are things he’d like to change. He said the tax rate seems high for medical cannabis, which in many states is not taxed at all, and that he would prefer to see more qualifying conditions spelled out in bill’s text rather than left to regulators.

But he deferred to the bill’s sponsors, noting the precarious path the bill must travel on its way to passage. “These legislators are much more familiar with their own political landscape than necessarily we are,” he said, “and we know that there’s very serious opposition on the Senate side.”

Nemes, the bill’s lead sponsor, said in October that he believes lawmakers will vote for the measure if only legislative leaders give them a chance. “There’s no doubt about it—we have the votes for it in the House and Senate,” he told colleagues at a committee meeting. “It passed 65 to 30 in the House [in 2020] when we were told it wouldn’t pass. We need to have the courage to vote.”

While Beshear, the govenror, has said that his focus will be on getting medical cannabis enacted in the coming legislative session, he said he also supports legislation introduced by Rep. Nima Kulkarni (D) in November that would prevent people from being incarcerated over marijuana for any use, saying he’s in favor of that policy.

Kulkarni’s bill would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis, but it doesn’t provide a regulatory framework for commercial sales.

A poll released in 2020 found that nine out of 10 Kentucky residents support legalizing medical marijuana, and almost 60 percent say cannabis should be legal under “any circumstances.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Kentucky Addresses Cannabis Reform Through New Legislation


Kentucky is introducing new cannabis legislation to reform the existing status and bring more cannabis access to the state.


Lawmakers and activists convened in Kentucky this week to discuss a pair of proposals that would dramatically change how cannabis is treated in the state, but there remains a divide over how far the reform effort should go.

The biggest question of the moment remains: Will they legalize recreational cannabis, or just medicinal?

Local television station WDRB reported that “state representatives and members of the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition, ACLU and NAACP met Tuesday in support of legalization” in the capital city of Frankfort, with the focus primarily aimed at two bills brought by Democratic state House Representative Nima Kulkarni.

In November, Kulkarni pre-filed two pieces of legislation. One was a proposed constitutional amendment to allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, use and sell as much as an ounce of cannabis (or up to five personal plants) without legal repercussions. If the amendment were to pass, “the question would be added to the November ballot,” according to local television station WLKY.

Kulkarni’s other bill would decriminalize cannabis in the state while also expunging the records of those previously convicted of pot charges.


“I am sponsoring these bills for several reasons, any one of which should be enough for them to become law,” Kulkarni said in a statement after the bills were filed late last year. “First, current cannabis statutes have needlessly and tragically ruined many lives, especially people of color who have suffered because of unequal enforcement. Second, thousands of citizens, from cancer patients to veterans suffering from PTSD, should have the right to use something that gives them the mental and physical relief they deserve without relying on stronger, potentially addictive medicine.

“Third, cannabis decriminalization would give the state a much-needed source of reliable revenue without raising current taxes by a single cent. And, finally, polls have repeatedly shown a majority of Kentuckians backs decriminalization and allowing cannabis to be used responsibly by adults.”

Democratic state House Representative Attica Scott, a co-sponsor of the legislation, told WLKY that legislators in the Bluegrass State “have the opportunity to take the question to the voters in Kentucky and ask them, not politicians who want to be obstructionist, but the people who can benefit most from the legalization and decriminalization.”

Scott said that, for her, the two bills are a package deal.

“You can’t have one without the other, and I have been very clear that I am not going to sign onto legalization legislation if we don’t include decriminalization,” Scott said, as quoted by WLKY.

But other lawmakers in Kentucky are in favor of a different approach to cannabis reform, one that begins with a focus on medicinal cannabis.

WDRB said that lawmakers there expect the debate of this year’s legislative session “to revolve around medical marijuana, and some hope with the changes they’ve made to the bill, it will get through the Senate.”

Republican state House Representative Jason Nemes, who has previously pushed for medical marijuana in Kentucky, said that it’s an area with clear support from both voters and lawmakers.

“That’s the place where we have the votes, and we’re fine-tuning some things to try to make sure that we get a vote in the Senate,” Nemes told WDRB.

“Thirty-six states already have it,” he added. “There’s a lot of people who it would help, so I think medical marijuana is the step that Kentucky needs to take.”


A poll in 2020 found that nearly 60 percent of Kentuckians support legalizing pot for any use, while 90 percent said they backed medicinal cannabis.

In 2012, the same poll found that less than 40 percent favored cannabis for any use.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Kentucky House Passes Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill


The Kentucky House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes (R), was taken up by the full chamber about a week after clearing the House Judiciary Committee. Meanwhile, separate adult-use and medical legalization bills were filed by Democratic lawmakers last month.

The vote on the floor was 59-34.

“This is Kentucky grown, Kentucky processed, Kentucky tested,” Nemes said ahead of the vote. “Grown by Kentucky farmers on Kentucky land with Kentucky seeds for our Kentucky brothers and sisters and the Kentucky patients from across the Commonwealth.”

Nemes filed a medical legalization bill in 2020 that soundly passed the House but later died in the Senate without a vote amid the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. He reintroduced the legislation for the 2021 session, but it did not advance.

In the months since, the lawmaker has worked to build support—and recently earned the endorsement of Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield (R), for example, who said he will back the House bill despite personal reservations about marijuana reform because he’s heard from constituents who stand to benefit from the treatment option.

Nemes has continually expressed confidence that the reform legislation would advance through the legislature if only leadership had the “courage” to put it to a vote.

Prior to Thursday’s vote, Rep. Al Gentry (D) delivered an emotional speech telling the stories of several people he personally knows who have benefitted from medical cannabis.


HB 136 would establish a relatively restrictive program, prohibiting both the home cultivation of marijuana and the smoking of cannabis flower. Whole-plant products would be allowed under the bill, but patients would be required to vaporize them.

Qualifying conditions will include cancer, epilepsy and seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, chronic nausea and cyclical vomiting and chronic, severe, intractable or debilitating pain.

Last week, the Judiciary Committee adopted a substitute version prior to advancing the legislation and sending it to the floor. Among other changes, it would allow physician assistants to apply for certifications to recommend cannabis, give licensing boards permission to “intervene” if a doctor is impaired by cannabis and revise language related to fees for authorization to recommend medical marijuana and provide “medicinal cannabis consultation services to cardholders.”

On the floor, members of the full body approved a handful of amendments to the bill.

Nemes, the measure’s sponsor, proposed an amendment to alter provisions on immunity for Kentucky Board of Pharmacy and pharmacists, replace “nausea and vomiting” with “chronic nausea and cyclical vomiting” on the list of qualifying conditions and remove language stipulating that regulators would need to allow patients to access medical marijuana for a certain list of conditions “at a minimum.” A colleague had expressed concern in committee that such language would signal that regulators could approve additional conditions down the line, which he wanted to prevent.

The bill sponsor also filed a proposed revision to clarify that the legislature would need to sign off on the addition of any new qualifying conditions in the future.
Rep. Rachel Roberts (D) filed an amendment to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.

“Of the 37 states who have some form of legalized cannabis, all of them expressly list PTSD as a permissible diagnosis, have full adult-use legalization or include wording in their medical programs to allow doctors some flexibility in prescribing,” she said. “Kentucky would be the outlier if not include this diagnosis.”

Also on Thursday, the House approved a separate bill to create a Kentucky Center for Cannabis Research to fund studies into “the effects of cannabis, the efficacy and potential health effects of various cannabis delivery models” and more, the sponsor, Rep. Kimberly Moser (R), said on the floor. The vote was 93-0.

Under Nemes’s broader medical cannabis legislation, regulators would set many of the program’s specific rules—for example personal possession limits—during an implementation period later this year if the bill passes.

The program would launch in early 2023 if the legislation is ultimately enacted.

The bill’s relatively narrow approach is designed to win support among GOP leaders in the state Senate, who’ve killed past versions of Nemes’s proposal. Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R), for example, steadfastly opposes the change, having warned that it’s a fast track to full legalization.

“I know my constituents are for it,” Thayer, who owns a whiskey distillery, said during a televised panel in January. “But this is a republic, and they elect us to go to Frankfort and make decisions on their behalf—and if they don’t like it, they can take it out on me in the next election.”

The Nemes bill includes provisions such as a ban on discrimination against cannabis patients in areas such as child custody matters and organ transplants. Students who use medical marijuana would be permitted to consume it on campus under the administration of a school nurse.

Patients would be able to have a 10-day supply of marijuana products outside the home and up to a 30-day supply secured at their residence. Those amounts are still poorly defined, however, as the bill leaves it to regulators to determine what constitutes a day’s worth of cannabis.

Products would be subject to a 12 percent excise tax and taxes on gross receipts, with revenues split between state and local governments. Of all state revenue, 13.75 percent would go to local law enforcement to help enforce the new law.

Business licensing would be fairly flexible, with no caps on license numbers or rules about vertical integration, as some other states have implemented.

While Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has said that his focus will be on getting medical cannabis enacted this year, he said he also supports legislation introduced by Rep. Nima Kulkarni (D) in November that would prevent people from being incarcerated over marijuana for any use, saying he’s in favor of that policy.

Kulkarni’s bill would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis, but it doesn’t provide a regulatory framework for commercial sales.

Democratic leaders from both chambers, meanwhile, said in January that legalizing medical marijuana will be a top legislative priority for this year’s session. And in the spirit, Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey (D) and two other colleagues filed their own legalization measure last month.

The companion legislation—SB 186 and HB 521—is dubbed LETT’s Grow, an acronym built of the bills’ main components: Legalizing sales, expunging crimes, treatment through medical use and taxing of adult-use sales.

It would also expand funding for treatment of substance use disorder and earmark a portion of state proceeds for scholarship programs and grants to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war.

If passed, the Democratic-led bill would legalize possession of up to a one ounce of marijuana in public and up to 12 ounces in a private space. Sharing of up to an ounce of cannabis between adults or patients would also be legal. People legally allowed to possess and use cannabis could also grow their own at home, with up to 10 mature marijuana plants per person.

Medical use would be allowed for any medical condition “for which an authorized practitioner believes that a cardholder patient may receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of medical cannabis.”

Sales of adult-use cannabis would be taxed at six percent at the state level, with municipalities able to add fees of up to five percent combined between local jurisdictions. Overall, sales would be taxed at no more than 11 percent, which is lower than most other legal states.

All products would need to carry an advisory label and include basic details including ingredients and additives, net weight, an expiration or use-by date and “labeling that differentiates between medical cannabis products and adult use cannabis products.” Further, all packaging would need to be opaque.

The bill would also forbid employers or professional organizations from discriminating against people who use cannabis off the job provided it does not affect their work performance or compromise safety. Smoking marijuana in public would remain illegal but be punishable by a maximum $100 fine.

Anyone ever convicted of a misdemeanor for possession, delivery or manufacture of cannabis or cannabis-related paraphernalia could petition a court for expungement. The process would happen automatically after a year, although people could petition a court for expungement earlier.

The governor also supports legalization, saying late last year that it’s “time we joined so many other states in doing the right thing.” He added that Kentucky farmers would be well positioned to grow and sell cannabis to other states.

A poll released in 2020 found that nine out of 10 Kentucky residents support legalizing medical marijuana, and almost 60 percent say cannabis should be legal under “any circumstances.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
a relatively restrictive program, prohibiting both the home cultivation of marijuana and the smoking of cannabis flower. Whole-plant products would be allowed under the bill, but patients would be required to vaporize them.
Oh yeah...once again politicians declare victory, and pat themselves on the back, by finally allowing their electorate to.....vape from a fucking cartridge only (or pretty much).

I don't even know what "whole plant products" means. Carts? Does it include shatter. They are allowing 80%+ dabable concentrates but not whole flower...maybe?? Dunno.

Well, its a start and I suppose after a few years, like many states, they will amend it to allow flower, edibles, and maybe even home grow.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Kentucky Governor Says He May Use Executive Order if Medical Cannabis Bill Dies

With a medical cannabis bill on life support in the Kentucky general assembly, the state’s governor may take matters into his own hands.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday that he is considering what he could do to rescue a proposal to legalize medical cannabis that is currently languishing in the state’s general assembly.

The first term Democrat was asked by reporters “if he could potentially issue an executive order making medical marijuana accessible if the bill dies,” the Associated Press reported.

“We’re going to explore that,” Beshear said, as quoted by the news outlet. “It’s something that we will look at. Its time has certainly come.”

Beshear’s comments came nearly a month after the Kentucky House of Representatives easily passed legislation that would legalize medical cannabis in the state for qualified patients.

That measure, sponsored by Republican state House Rep. Jason Nemes, would permit physicians to recommend cannabis treatment to patients with a host of qualifying conditions, such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and nausea.

The bill passed the House, where the GOP holds a large majority, by a vote of 59-34.

In his efforts to build support for the bill, Nemes spoke of his experiences talking to patients and doctors.

“I’ll never forget this mother leaning forward and touching my hand. She told me what it meant to her child, and they all went around the room and said what it meant to them,” Nemes said. “And I thought, here’s good people, real good people, and I disagree with them. So, I was starting to question it. I talked to physicians, did a lot of research on the issue.”

But the bill has gone nowhere in the state Senate, which is also dominated by Republicans. It is a near identical scenario to 2020, when the Kentucky state House passed a medical cannabis bill only for it to be stymied in the state Senate.

Robert Stivers, the president of the Kentucky state Senate, was skeptical and dismissive of the bill from the start, saying that the legislature was running out of time to tackle legislation of that significance.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Stivers “remains opposed to legalizing medical marijuana, saying that while he’s seen research showing marijuana could have a positive effect on patients with spasticity, nausea and joint inflammation, he says those studies had small sample sizes and duration — while he’s seen others showing negative side effects.”

More recently, Stivers has expressed doubt that lawmakers have enough time to get the bill over the line, with the assembly’s 60-day session winding down.

On Thursday, Stivers said “it would be difficult” to pass the bill when lawmakers return for the final two days of the legislative session next week, according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reported that Stivers has “touted another pending bill that would create a cannabis research center at the University of Kentucky to study the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions.”

“Most definitely, I think there is that desire to help individuals,” Stivers said, as quoted by the Associated Press. “But with any drug, I think you need to have the full-blown studies.”

“That would give us the impetus to come back maybe within a year and say this is what marijuana could be used for or not be used for,” Stivers added, according to the Associated Press.

Enter Beshear, who has been forceful in his advocacy for legalizing medical cannabis in Kentucky.

While suggesting on Thursday that he may resort to executive action on the matter, Beshear once again urged lawmakers to deliver a bill to his desk.

“You see people from every part of every spectrum that are in favor of this,” Beshear said, as quoted by the Associated Press.
 

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