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Law Kentucky


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.”


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."


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.


Well-Known Member


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.


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.


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.”


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.”


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.

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