FRANKFORT -- A medical cannabis bill was submitted to the Kentucky House of Representatives on Jan. 10 and a companion bill is to be submitted to the Senate next week.
Republican State Sen. Stephen West said he will file a 62-page bill with the Senate that is modeled on the same framework of House Bill 166, sponsored by State Rep. John Sims.
“The bill is a medical marijuana bill,” said West. “It was a group in my district, Eric and Michelle Crawford who had been working on this subject for years.”
The Crawfords are from Maysville and have advocated for the use of medical cannabis for years now. Eric is a quadriplegic and also suffers from glaucoma. After taking opioids and other medications that left him feeling out of it, he decided that cannabis would be a better option.
Unfortunately, medical cannabis is illegal in the state of Kentucky.
“There are 29 states and the District of Columbia that have medical cannabis in some form already,” said Sims. “This could be a win for the state of Kentucky.”
“It’s a number of things,” said West when asked what he felt has been holding Kentucky back from passing a medical marijuana bill. “Fear is one of them, fear of the unknown for sure. Law enforcement is another. How would it operationally work with the officers? If I pull someone over who has medical marijuana, how do I know if it is illegal or legal?”
Medical cannabis bills have come and gone through the General Assembly and none of them have made it very far, but with support coming from the House and the Senate, there is a chance it could be passed.
“I have never been opposed to the idea,” said West. “For me, it was always about having the right kind of bill with the right details in the bill for it to work. They’ve tried to put together the best parts of laws from other states to make the best bill for Kentucky.”
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