The House Republican budget plan includes a hike in the cigarette tax and a new tax on dosages of opioid drugs…

Plan would raise Kentucky’s cigarette tax above $1 per pack to pay for education

Tom Loftus, Louisville Courier Journal Published 7:53 p.m. ET Feb. 27, 2018

Plan would raise cigarette taxes above $1 per pack to pay for education

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The House Republican budget plan includes a hike in the cigarette tax and a new tax on dosages of opioid drugs to help restore funding for education, according to two House Democrats.

House Democratic Whip Dennis Keene, of Wilder, and Rep. Kelly Flood, of Lexington, said they were among a group of Democrats given an advance briefing late Tuesday afternoon on the budget plan of the majority Republicans.

Keene and Flood said in separate phone interviews that they were told House Republicans will propose to come up with additional money through a 50-cent increase in Kentucky’s 60-cent per pack cigarette tax and a new tax of 25 cents per dosage of opioid drugs.

“The new dollars generated are targeted for education …” Flood said. “The lobbying effort and citizen engagement on the part of teachers, superintendents, principals, parents and students has paid off.”

Keene and Flood said they were told the new revenue would allow the budget to increase funding for the main public school program known as SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) as well as restore much, if not all, of the cut that Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget would have made in funding to school districts for student transportation.

Background: Here are the 70 programs not funded by Bevin’s proposed budget

More: Some Kentucky schools could fail under Bevin’s proposed budget

Keene said that Rep. Steven Rudy, the Paducah Republican who chairs the House budget committee, and House Republican Leader Jonathan Shell, of Lancaster, briefed Democratic leaders and Democrats on the budget committee.

Keene said, “It’s not all crystal clear. … The briefing lasted about an hour and we weren’t given anything in writing.”

Flood also said the House GOP budget plan will restore some funding that Bevin’s proposal would have cut from state universities and would address the problem of the governor’s failure to fund health insurance for teachers who retired since July 1, 2010, but have not turned 65 and become eligible for Medicaid.

“If I understood that correctly, that issue (retired teacher health insurance) is being addressed, but in another way that may not be in this budget bill,” Flood said.

Earlier Tuesday, Rudy told reporters that his committee planned to meet Wednesday afternoon and release its revised version of the 2018-2020 budget bill. He also said the committee would consider a revenue bill.

But both Rudy and House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, declined to provide any details. Also, each was asked if the revenue bill included any cigarette tax or opioid tax provisions, and they declined to comment.

In January, Bevin proposed an austere budget that would fully fund the state’s huge pension obligations and that he said would put Kentucky’s financial house in order. But to do so, Bevin said he was required to slash spending to most parts of government and eliminate funding for 70 specific smaller state programs.

That proposal was met by a storm of objections — particularly from school districts that would be saddled with additional costs, particularly for student transportation.

Flood said Democrats were told at the meeting that a 50 cent increase in the cigarette tax would raise about $127 million in the first year of the budget, and $110 million the second year.

She said the tax on dosages of opioids would be applied at the wholesale level and generate about $70 million per year.

Flood also said the plan calls for eliminating a $10 per person tax credit on the individual income tax, a move that would generate about $55 million per year.

While encouraged by the move to raise revenue, Flood said she’s disappointed that the plan is based on revenue sources like tobacco that will decline over time. “This is not tax reform, modernization or matching our taxes where consumers are spending more today on services,” she said.

She said she’d have to consider all aspects of the budget and revenue bills before deciding whether to vote for them. “I will vote for increased revenue if I think we’re doing the right thing overall,” she said.

Flood is uncertain whether a budget plan bolstered by small tax increases could pass the Republican House and, later, the Republican Senate. But she noted that the increases proposed for cigarettes and opioids would not be so politically unpopular.

“After all, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is on record for supporting a $1 increase in the cigarette tax,” she said.

Health advocates have been pushing for legislation that would raise the cigarette tax by $1 a pack — a big increase that they say would significantly reduce teen smoking.

Tom Loftus: [email protected]; Twitter: @TomLoftus_CJ. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/toml.

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana to Stay A Schedule I Drug, Federal Judge Denies Reclassification

Image result for alexis bortell

By Anushree Madappa On 02/27/18

On Monday, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a request to reclassify marijuana — currently a Schedule I drug, leaving the plaintiffs in a limbo after many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

The plaintiffs — Marvin Washington, Dean Bartell, Alexis Bartell, Jose Belen, Sebastien Cotte, Jagger Cotte, along with the Cannabis Cultural Association Inc. — filed the petition challenging classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, hoping that it’s reclassification would pay way for legalization of cannabis across the nation. They sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the federal court.

They petitioners claimed that the “current scheduling of marijuana violates due process because it lacks a rational basis.”

For decades, Marijuana has been under the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, the highest level of drug classification making it on par with dangerous drugs like heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals for reclassification. The substances in this schedule have “a high potential for abuse,” (2) “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and (3) there is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

Deeming marijuana as a highly dangerous drug, the U.S. Congress proffered the power to reclassify the drug with the attorney general. The power to reclassify was also granted to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), provided the attorney general signs off on the petition to reclassify the drug based on medical and scientific data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The data should be consistent with the argument for reclassification.

While dismissing the petition, which argued that there was no “rational basis” for the Congress to classify Marijuana under Schedule I, Judge Alkin K Hellerstein said, “By framing their claim in terms of the statutory factors outlined in Section 8 l 2(b) (1), plaintiffs’ lawsuit is best understood as a collateral attack on the various administrative determinations not to reclassify marijuana into a different drug schedule.”

“As such, plaintiffs’ claim is barred because plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies,” he added.

The “exhaustion rule” generally implies the plaintiffs to go through all parties and exhaust all “administrative remedies” before moving to the federal courts, which the judge found was not followed in the case.

By approaching the federal court, the petitioners chose to avoid the same fate dealt to previous complaints that challenged the administration agency and lost in 2016, the judge said.

In 2016, a request to reclassify marijuana was denied by the DEA. In a letter to the petitioners, the agency said, “HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”

The federal court judge said he agrees with the previous verdict given by Judge Wolford of the Western District of New York in the United States v. Green case where he said the petition did not challenge the DEA’s decision “to conclude that there is no currently accepted medical use for marijuana” but the constitutional issue is “whether there is any conceivable basis to support the placement of marijuana on the most stringent schedule under the [Controlled Substance Act] CSA.”

In a document stating the verdict, Hellerstein said, “Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under any constitutional theory, all of plaintiffs’ remaining claims are also dismissed.”

The judge concluded that the “defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint is granted. Plaintiffs have already amended their complaint once, and I find that further amendments would be futile.”

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

Alexis Bortell, 12, Won’t Let Court Loss Stop Jeff Sessions Medical Pot Fight  (1-27-18)

Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”   LINK

The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

http://floridamarijuana.net/breaking-news-jeff-sessions-dea-stand-trial-federal-lawsuit-de-schedule-cannabis/

Two Kentucky men have murder charges dismissed in ‘satanic’ killing

by Associated Press

BRANDENBURG, Ky. — A Kentucky judge dismissed murder charges Monday against two men for a 1990s killing that authorities at the time described as “satanic.”

Garr Keith Hardin and Jeffrey Dewayne Clark had their convictions in Meade County vacated in 2016 based on DNA testing and evidence of police misconduct. They were released from prison in August of that year after serving 21 years.

Hardin and Clark were convicted in 1995 of killing 19-year-old Rhonda Sue Warford, based in part on the prosecution’s contention that a hair found on her body was a match to Hardin. They were sentenced to life in prison.

On Monday, Meade County Circuit Judge Bruce Butler dismissed the 1992 murder indictments against the men at the urging of the state attorney general’s office.

“The struggle for justice has been long and painful for Mr. Hardin and Mr. Clark, who served more than 20 years and whom the Commonwealth twice threatened with the death penalty for a crime they did not commit,” said Seema Saifee, a staff attorney with The Innocence Project. The group is representing Hardin.

The Innocence Project fought for years to have the evidence tested for DNA, and the Kentucky Supreme Court granted the request in 2013. The testing revealed the hair didn’t come from Hardin.

Judge Butler overturned their conviction in 2016, finding it “based on suppositions that we now know to be fundamentally false.”

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office, which took over the case last year, has pledged to re-investigate Warford’s killing.

Image:

Jeffrey Clark, third from left, and Garr Keith Hardin, second from right, spent 21 years in prison for a 1992 murder before their convictions were overturned. Natalia Martinez / WAVE 3 News

At Hardin and Clark’s murder trial in 1995, prosecutors claimed they committed the killings as part of a satanic sacrifice, according to a release Monday from The Innocence Project.

Part of the evidence was a bloody cloth and broken glass recovered from Hardin’s home that prosecutors said was stained during an animal sacrifice. They said the glass was a “chalice” from which Hardin drank the blood of animals.

Hardin testified at trial that the blood on the cloth was his own, caused by cutting himself on the glass.

A police detective who testified at the trial said Hardin told him that he killed animals as a form of satanic ritual and “got tired of looking at animals and began to want to do human sacrifices.” Hardin denied making those statements.

CONTINUE READING…

(KY) A medical marijuana bill waiting for momentum gets a spark from Lexington

By Beth Musgrave   [email protected]

The Lexington city council voted Tuesday to support medical marijuana, becoming the largest city in Kentucky to back efforts to allow some patients access to marijuana.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously during a specially-called meeting Tuesday on a resolution supporting marijuana for people with certain conditions.

Bullitt County, Maysville and Mason County have passed similar resolutions in recent years supporting state-level changes in the law to allow patients to get marijuana for medical conditions. The Louisville Metro Council is weighing a similar resolution.

House Bill 166, which would provide a legal framework for medical marijuana, has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but has not yet had a hearing. Backers of HB 166 have pushed for cities and counties in Kentucky to pass resolutions supporting the bill in hopes that it will get a hearing before the legislative session concludes on April 15.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay said the council ultimately decided to take out reference to a specific bill in the resolution passed Tuesday. The council ultimately wanted to support the overall effort to make marijuana available to people with certain medical conditions.

“We would like to see the issue of medical marijuana addressed at the state level so we can address it at the local level,” Kay said.

Councilwoman Amanda Bledsoe said she felt uncomfortable taking a vote on an issue the voters of her district had not asked her to decide. Medical marijuana is a state or federal issue. But Bledsoe said she would support the effort because she saw how much her father suffered before he died of cancer.

“My father had terminal cancer for eight years,” Bledsoe said. “He was under immense pain. For that reason, I think it’s important for the state to take up the issue. “

Medical marijuana faces opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate and House. The bill has been opposed by the Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association. HB 166 would require a doctor to recommend marijuana before a patient could get it. It would be dispensed through a state-run dispensary.

The council decided to have the specially-called meeting Tuesday to pass the resolution after several Lexington-area residents spoke Thursday before the council. Those speakers told the council medical marijuana could help cancer patients, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and those dealing with chronic pain who do not want to use opiates.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana to Stay A Schedule I Drug, Federal Judge Denies Reclassification

Image result for alexis bortell

By Anushree Madappa On 02/27/18

On Monday, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a request to reclassify marijuana — currently a Schedule I drug, leaving the plaintiffs in a limbo after many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

The plaintiffs — Marvin Washington, Dean Bartell, Alexis Bartell, Jose Belen, Sebastien Cotte, Jagger Cotte, along with the Cannabis Cultural Association Inc. — filed the petition challenging classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, hoping that it’s reclassification would pay way for legalization of cannabis across the nation. They sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the federal court.

They petitioners claimed that the “current scheduling of marijuana violates due process because it lacks a rational basis.”

For decades, Marijuana has been under the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, the highest level of drug classification making it on par with dangerous drugs like heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals for reclassification. The substances in this schedule have “a high potential for abuse,” (2) “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and (3) there is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

Deeming marijuana as a highly dangerous drug, the U.S. Congress proffered the power to reclassify the drug with the attorney general. The power to reclassify was also granted to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), provided the attorney general signs off on the petition to reclassify the drug based on medical and scientific data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The data should be consistent with the argument for reclassification.

While dismissing the petition, which argued that there was no “rational basis” for the Congress to classify Marijuana under Schedule I, Judge Alkin K Hellerstein said, “By framing their claim in terms of the statutory factors outlined in Section 8 l 2(b) (1), plaintiffs’ lawsuit is best understood as a collateral attack on the various administrative determinations not to reclassify marijuana into a different drug schedule.”

“As such, plaintiffs’ claim is barred because plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies,” he added.

The “exhaustion rule” generally implies the plaintiffs to go through all parties and exhaust all “administrative remedies” before moving to the federal courts, which the judge found was not followed in the case.

By approaching the federal court, the petitioners chose to avoid the same fate dealt to previous complaints that challenged the administration agency and lost in 2016, the judge said.

In 2016, a request to reclassify marijuana was denied by the DEA. In a letter to the petitioners, the agency said, “HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”

The federal court judge said he agrees with the previous verdict given by Judge Wolford of the Western District of New York in the United States v. Green case where he said the petition did not challenge the DEA’s decision “to conclude that there is no currently accepted medical use for marijuana” but the constitutional issue is “whether there is any conceivable basis to support the placement of marijuana on the most stringent schedule under the [Controlled Substance Act] CSA.”

In a document stating the verdict, Hellerstein said, “Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under any constitutional theory, all of plaintiffs’ remaining claims are also dismissed.”

The judge concluded that the “defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint is granted. Plaintiffs have already amended their complaint once, and I find that further amendments would be futile.”

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

Alexis Bortell, 12, Won’t Let Court Loss Stop Jeff Sessions Medical Pot Fight  (1-27-18)

Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”   LINK

The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

http://floridamarijuana.net/breaking-news-jeff-sessions-dea-stand-trial-federal-lawsuit-de-schedule-cannabis/

KENTUCKY HAS SERIOUS WATER ISSUES

A creek in Martin County, Ky., ran bright yellow in April. The state claimed that yellow highway-marking paint was to blame. Photo via Facebook

A creek in Martin County, Ky., ran bright yellow in April. The state claimed that yellow highway-marking paint was to blame. Photo via Facebook.

I received an email from “Food and Water Watch” concerning water issues in Martin County Kentucky which prompted me to do a google search to see what I could find out.  The links below are on the subject which I feel should be noticed. 

The water runs milky and can feel like fire. In this impoverished county, Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan may not help (2-12-18)

“I haven’t drunk the water in years,” said Jessica Endicott, 35, general manager at Family Dollar in Warfield, a tiny town on Martin County’s eastern edge. “I don’t cook with it. I don’t boil eggs with it. I don’t even feel safe bathing in it.”

Kentucky community suffering severe water shortage could now see huge water bill increase  (1-25-18) 

Facing widespread unemployment and years of water issues, Martin County residents’ water bill could go up by nearly 50 percent.

Eastern Ky. County Struggling With Water Shortage (1-13-18)

An eastern Kentucky county is conserving water by shutting it off to residents at night, but some have been without running water for days.

Close to $4 Million Slated for Martin County Water Project (2-26-18)

Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers this weekend announced plans for a $3.4 million water project in eastern Kentucky.  In all, more than four and a half million dollars will go to address long standing problems in one Appalachian community.

Drinking water problems still plague eastern Kentucky (5-6-16) *Notice the date!

When Rockhouse Creek in Martin County, Ky., ran bright yellow last month, Tomahawk resident Gina Patrick said she had one major concern: that the pollution might ruin her water well.  Patrick has relied on well water her whole life and didn’t want to pay to be hooked up to the municipal water system. That’s because the Martin County Water District is one of the worst water infrastructure systems in the state in terms of water quality and water loss.

Kentucky ranks poorly in new water quality study (5-2-17)

Kentucky fares poorly in a new report by a big national environmental group that analyzed safe drinking water violations across the country.  No state in the nation in 2015 had a larger segment of its population — 53 percent — getting its water from utilities with at least one violation of federal safety regulations, the Natural Resources Defense Council found. Only Puerto Rico was higher, at 69 percent.

Threats on Tap: Widespread Violations Highlight Need for Investment in Water Infrastructure and Protections    an interactive map available here.

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Kentucky senator asks for state of emergency declaration due to water issues (1-16-18)


http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-senator-asks-for-state-of-emergency-declaration-due-to-water-issues-469627853.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-08QyM3rBA

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2017/05/02/kentucky-ranks-poorly-new-water-quality-study/308899001/

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/state/kentucky

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/martin-county-could-see-huge-rate-increase-despite-failing-system

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/kentucky/articles/2018-01-13/eastern-ky-county-shutting-off-water-to-some-residents

http://weku.fm/post/close-4-million-slated-martin-county-water-project     (audio included)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-kentucky-water-20180212-story.html

http://appvoices.org/2016/05/06/drinking-water-p
roblems-plague-eastern-kentucky/

Other informational links:

https://sharepoint.louisville.edu/sites/sphis/acprogs/ph101/pubs/LOUTOUR.pdf

http://wiserstrategies.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/FINAL-BG-Water-complete.pdf

Sally Oh was Live on Facebook: “Medical Cannabis, States' Rights & the Civil War”

PLEASE TAKE 10 MINUTES TO LISTEN TO SALLY OH’S VIDEO!

Sally Oh

Above is the LINK to Sally Oh’s live video on Facebook explaining States Rights and the medical cannabis war.

There is also an article at this LINK from the Tenth Amendment Center which explains States Rights.

States Don’t Have to Comply: The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine

Laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution do stand as the supreme law of the land. But that doesn’t in any way imply the federal government lords over everything and everybody in America. LINK

REPEAL  CANNABIS PROHIBITION IN  KENTUCKY NOW!  SAVE OUR STATE!

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There is also a very good layout of the Kentucky Cannabis Bills for 2018 at the KENTUCKY FREE PRESS website.  Here is that LINK.


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http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/12/28/states-dont-have-to-comply-the-anti-comandeering-doctrine/

https://www.facebook.com/dreambiggerxo/videos/1600760853378573/

http://www.kyfreepress.com/2018/02/medical-cannabis-ky-2018/

(KY) SENATOR DAVID GIVENS’ LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/pubinfo/portraits/senate09.jpg

For Immediate Release

February 23, 2018

SENATOR DAVID GIVENS’ LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

After weeks of anticipation and months of discussions and meetings with stakeholders, the Kentucky Senate Majority Caucus filed its comprehensive pension reform bill as Senate Bill (SB) 1 on Tuesday, February 20.  While SB 1 marked the filing of one of the most significant pieces of legislation of the 2018 Session, we continued to hold committee meetings and voted bills out of the Senate chamber, making for another busy week in Frankfort.

In addressing our pension crisis, our goal was to balance the harsh reality of the fiscal health of the retirement systems with the expectations of current public employees, teachers, and retirees.  We worked to do just that while respecting the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, many of whom do not have a retirement plan of any kind.  I am proud to report that Senate Bill 1 is a data-driven plan that reflects hard work, numerous revisions, and most importantly, input from public employees.  We listened to your feedback and this plan reflects that.

This massive $40 billion pension problem occurred due to a combination of factors, such as failed promises by previous administrations to fund pensions at the level requested by the retirement systems, the Great Recession from 2008 to 2012, and pension board mismanagement of administrative costs, investments, and a failure to meet projected returns.  However, this new approach finally puts our state on the path to solvency.

This plan does not place any future state employees into a defined contribution, or a 401(k)-style, retirement plan, and it will not force any current or future state employees into a 401(k) plan.  It will not create a retirement “cliff” by preventing current employees or teachers from accruing more service credit in their defined benefit plan.

Most importantly, this proposal solves Kentucky’s $40 billion unfunded pension problem by changing how state government funds pensions.  Kentucky will convert to a “level dollar funding formula” which means the unfunded liability will be completely paid off within thirty years by making a large payment each year—just like paying off your home mortgage.  Under this funding plan, the retirement systems will receive hundreds of millions more in funding each year, going above and beyond the minimum payment to more quickly pay down the debt.  I look forward to continuing the pension discussion as the bill moves through the legislative process.

One of the first pieces of legislation we passed this week was Senate Resolution 149, which recognizes the role the hospitality industry can play in disrupting child sex trafficking and encouraging residents, employees, and agencies to use hotels and venues which are signatories of the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, known as The Code.  The Code is a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools, and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

We also passed a number of other bills in the Senate this week: Senate Bill 119 lays out the legal carcass disposal methods for cervid (deer) meat processors; Senate Bill 149 and SB 126 are both reorganization bills for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services; Senate Bill 109 updates the statutory definition of rape; and House Bill 74 aims to deter the resell of stolen goods to pawnbrokers by making the pawnbrokers’ registers more transparent and requiring secondhand merchandise sold to a pawnbroker to be held a minimum of 12 days before being resold.

The budget is still in the hands of the House of Representatives, but we expect to receive it in the Senate in the coming weeks.  We have already begun an intensive review process, and once it is in our possession, we will continue that process while making our own changes.  It is a lengthy and strenuous process, but I am confident that the final product will be fiscally responsible while ensuring sufficient funding for our critical programs.

If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181.  You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

# # #

Note:  Senator David Givens (R-Greensburg) represents the 9th District including Allen, Barren, Green, Metcalfe, Monroe and Simpson Counties.  He serves as a member of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, the Agriculture Committee, the Education Committee, the Enrollment Committee, and the Health and Welfare Committee. For a high-resolution .jpeg of Senator Givens, please log onto http://www.lrc.ky.gov/pubinfo/portraits/senate09.jpg.

(Louisville, KY) Medical Marijuana Town Hall Comment Form

100-seeds-Semen-Fructus-font-b-Cannabis-b-font-font-b-Cannabis-b-font-sativa-font

The following comment form is being circulated to give the Citizens of the Louisville Metro area of Kentucky a chance to voice their opinions concerning the ongoing medical marijuana discussions in the Legislature.

Please take a moment if you live in this area to fill out the form and let them hear your feelings on this subject.

Thank You!

Medical Marijuana Town Hall Comment Form

Louisville Metro Council’s Health and Education Committee Medical Marijuana Town Hall Comment Form. The Louisville Metro Council values your input on a resolution under consideration regarding the legalization of Medical Marijuana.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE COMMENT FORM!

Bipartisan bill offered in House to protect marijuana users in legal weed states

Bipartisan bill offered in House to protect marijuana users in legal weed states

By Lydia Wheeler – 02/15/18 05:19 PM EST

A bipartisan bill was offered in the House on Thursday seeking to circumvent attempts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to encourage stricter enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal.

Reps. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced the “Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act,” which would mirror a Obama-era memo that relaxed enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal. Sessions rescinded the memo last month.

The lawmakers say their legislation would protect people from being prosecuted for legal medical and recreational marijuana use.

“To date, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis, and twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, representing more than half of the American population, have enacted legislation to permit the use of cannabis,” Correa said in a statement.

“Attorney General Sessions’ decision to rescind the ‘Cole Memo’ created great uncertainty for these states and legal cannabis businesses, and put citizens in jeopardy for following their state laws,” he said.

In rescinding the 2013 directive from then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Sessions did not explicitly call for action, but the move opens the door for federal prosecutors to begin pursuing cases against both businesses that sell weed and residents who use it.

The memo had prioritized other prosecutions ahead of marijuana use offenses.

In a statement, Gaetz called the former memo good policy but bad governance because it was not passed through an act of Congress.

“We are a nation of laws, not department-wide memos. We should not tell prosecutors to ‘pick and choose’ what laws to uphold,” he said. “When federal law conflicts with state laws and the will of the American people, it’s time to change the laws.”

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