Kentucky Marijuana Bills 2019

RJR 2010

The following information is taken from Bill Watch on Kentucky.Gov.  The link above will allow you to register to view this information in it’s entirety.

As well, much information can be accessed through the Kentucky Legislature at this link.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019, Introduced in Senate by Dan Malano Seum;

SB 80(BR-836) 

AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

– Establishes the Department of Cannabis Control,

– Prohibits cultivation of more than 5 marijuana plants,

– Prohibits commitment of children over a cannabis offense,

– Establishes possession limits,

– Prohibits smoking cannabis in public,

– Adult use, over age 21.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, Introduced in House by: 

St. Onge , Diane
Nemes , Jason
Hart , Mark
Sims Jr , John

 HB 136(BR-58)

AN ACT relating to medicinal marijuana and making an appropriation therefor.

– to establish the Division of Medicinal Marijuana within the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control;

– to establish restrictions on the possession of and cultivation for personal use of medicinal marijuana by qualifying patients, visiting patients, and designated caregivers; to establish certain protections for cardholders;

– to clarify that the use of medicinal marijuana by a qualifying patient or visiting qualifying patient is to be treated the same as the use of prescribed pharmaceutical medications;

– Prohibits smoking cannabis in public,

RELATED:

Kentucky lawmakers unveil new medical marijuana bill

Kentucky Lawmakers Push Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill

Newly elected Kentucky lawmakers talk 2019 issues – from pensions to medical marijuana

Leave Marijuana Policy to the States

By Theodore Kupfer

A new bill would reconcile federal law with reality on the ground.

In the nine states where recreational marijuana is legal, industrial-scale growers distribute huge quantities of weed to product manufacturers, dispensaries are as common as banks in strip malls, and anyone over 21 can buy weed in all sorts of forms — edibles, CBD oils, cookies that contain ten milligrams of THC apiece, a good old-fashioned joint.

And everyone involved is breaking federal law. The possession, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana violates the Controlled Substances Act, which defines the drug as a Schedule I substance, the most severe level of classification. The prohibition doesn’t even allow an exception for medical use, which another 20 states have legalized.

With the Marijuana STATES Act, a bill that amends the Controlled Substances Act so that it applies only when state law applies as well, lawmakers are trying to change that.

Thus far, legal weed has flourished only because federal law hasn’t been enforced. The medical-marijuana business, still small, been protected for years by a rider to appropriations bills that bars federal money from funding their prosecution. Recreational-pot businesses, meanwhile, are protected mainly by the executive branch’s unwillingness to treat them as though they were Mexican cartels.

Under the Obama administration, Department of Justice policy was defined by the “Cole Memo,” which directed federal prosecutors to deprioritize marijuana in states where it was legal. That represented an attempt to change the law by executive fiat, and the Trump DOJ, led by unreconstructed drug warrior Jeff Sessions, rescinded the memo on those grounds. But while Sessions made noise early on about ramping up enforcement, legal-weed states have yet to see a crackdown. Going after the weed industry would require federal authorities to raid huge farms, confiscate enormous amounts of money, and put dispensaries out of business, and would set off a political firestorm. So an uneasy stasis persists.

Enter the STATES Act. A bipartisan group of senators, led by Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), introduced the bill last week. It would amend the Controlled Substances Act to conform to the policies of individual states: Phat Panda Farms, based in Spokane, Wash., would be vulnerable to federal prosecution if it tried to open up a branch in Jackson, Miss., but otherwise would be phree to pharm away. Marijuana is a question to which the citizens of Mississippi and Washington obviously have different answers, making it a natural candidate for federalism.

The bill would also allow pot businesses to take deductions and make it easier for banks to serve them by clarifying money-laundering statutes — and aside from federalism, the incentives are clear for the bill’s proponents. Consumers want to smoke; producers want to profit; plenty of capital sits on the sidelines waiting for a change in federal policy. The current quilt of laws and the problems inherent to leaving lawmaking to the executive branch have led to uncertainty, which hinders the development of the weed business. Were it to pass, all interested parties would know what the rules are. Otherwise, companies risk falling afoul of money-laundering statutes if they put their revenue in the banks, so many sit in cash. They also can’t take business deductions on their federal taxes, so they wind up missing out on profits. The STATES Act addresses both of these problems, and could spur a Hemp Valley explosion of startups in states — such as Massachusetts and Colorado — that have legalized it.

We should not forget that the drug imposes economic and human costs. Its proliferation will invite new regulatory and social questions

Fearing opposition from the usual tough-on-crime suspects, advocates of the STATES Act are clear: This is not a legalization bill. Buying weed in Colorado and returning home to Nebraska would remain both a state and federal crime under the STATES Act, as would selling weed as a black-market drug dealer who also carries fentanyl in his inventory. People who run afoul of state laws would be subject to federal prosecution, potentially allowing the federal government to reinforce the various legal regimes of each state. Gardner points to another virtue of increased transparency in the business sector: “Conflicting federal and state marijuana laws make it difficult for legitimate businesses to use the basic financial services they need access to, which creates a public safety risk,” the senator told National Review. “Businesses are being forced to carry around bags of money to pay for their employees and rent because of banks not being able to accept their money. . . . Getting this industry into the banking system will help increase transparency and allow law enforcement to ensure both that the profits are going to investors rather than cartels.”

As more states legalize marijuana, the need for a reconciliation between the federal prohibition and the will of the people will come into sharper relief. But we should not forget that the drug imposes economic and human costs. Its proliferation will invite new regulatory and social questions: What is the proper taxation regime for marijuana? Set the wrong one — per-gram, for instance — and we risk incentivizing businesses to develop ever-more potent strains, amplifying the costs to heavy users. How much should society stigmatize marijuana? A newly libertarian legal regime need not come with a libertine social ethic that trivializes the abusive potential of weed.

All of which means the STATES Act, even if it were to pass, should not be considered the end of marijuana policymaking in the U.S. But if it is just a start, it is the right start. The federal government should bequeath these questions to the laboratories, and let us experiment with different regulatory strains.

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https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/STATES%20Act%20One%20Pager.pdf

Kentucky: Marijuana Legalization Bill to be Introduced For 2018

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Republican state Senator Dan Seum plans on introducing legislation for the 2018 session that legalizes the adult use of and sale of cannabis.

Lawmakers in the 2018 legislative session will be primarily focused on crafting and passing a two-year state budget bill. The Senator believes that casting adult use legalization as a “jobs bill” will gain in traction.

“I’m looking at adult use, because that’s where the money is at,” Seum said.

According to the DEA, agents confiscated over 300,000 marijuana plants in Kentucky in 2016 — the third highest total of any state in the nation.

Enter your information below to send a letter to your state elected officials in support of this effort.

CONTINUE HERE!

(KY) Magistrates voice support for legalizing medical cannabis

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By Laura Harvey Lead Reporter [email protected]

Nearly two weeks after Kentucky’s secretary of state announced convening a special task force to propose the legalization of medical cannabis, two Hopkins County magistrates have voiced their support for the action.

Currently, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow their citizens to use marijuana in some form — whether for recreation or medicinal purposes. The majority, including Illinois and Ohio, have legalized cannabis for medical purposes only.

On Nov. 15, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced that she had created a task force to focus on a similar legislative proposal. The group includes members of the state’s medical community, law enforcement, medical marijuana advocates and military veterans.

State Rep. John Sims, of Flemingsburg is currently drafting medical marijuana legislation for the 2018 session. On Tuesday, two members of the Hopkins County Fiscal Court voiced their support for the proposal during a regular meeting.

“I am not talking about the ‘average joe’ smoking pot,” said District One Magistrate Karol Welch. “I am talking about people, medical cannabis and the immediate need for laws in Kentucky to allow true, sick and disabled people to legally use cannabis as an option in treating their illness.”

Welch said 12,000 people in Kentucky, including a relative of hers, live with Parkinson’s disease. The incurable disorder, which affects the central nervous system and movement, progressively causes trembling and stiffening of the extremities while affecting balance and coordination.

Welch said some studies have suggested that medical cannabis can significantly improve Parkinson’s symptoms.

“It reduces muscle spasms and stiffness … and improves sleeping, anxiety and eating,” she said. “It also calms your mind without making you crazy. There are numerous studies that support the medical uses of cannabis.

“There needs to be compassionate, common-sense reform of the laws that will help the genuinely sick, diseased and disabled citizens of the Bluegrass State,” she added. “Those are the people who are going to be using it — the citizens. We need to realize that just because you don’t need it today, doesn’t mean you won’t later have an accident and be begging for it tomorrow.”

District Four Magistrate Jack Whitfield Jr. said he agreed with the proposal.

“Five years ago, I was completely against it,” he said. “But I have a twin sister with multiple sclerosis. Four years ago, we were just talking at Thanksgiving and she — my twin, my age — just fell. I mean, she hit the floor and I broke down crying.

“But now I have looked at the statistics,” he added. “(Marijuana) is here already, but I think it will be much better and safer if it were legal.”

While proposed legislation is already scheduled for discussion next year, Welch said she was confident a law governing cannabis use would be passed relatively soon.

“I think it is going to happen,” she said. “I don’t think it is going to take 20 years like some people think it will.”

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Grimes Encourages Kentucky Cities, Counties To Endorse Medical Marijuana

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 2:59 PM CST Updated: Nov 29, 2017 2:59 PM CST

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is encouraging Kentucky cities and counties to endorse medical marijuana legislation which can help their citizens, many who are veterans fighting physical and mental illnesses, get care and relief they need.

“It’s clear momentum is building for medical cannabis in Kentucky. I challenge our local officials in cities and counties across the Commonwealth to join in the effort to bring relief to thousands of Kentuckians who suffer daily – their own citizens,” Grimes said. “This affects people in every county and corner of the state. Local officials should step up for their constituents to support medical cannabis legislation in the General Assembly in 2018. We can’t leave our people who are hurting behind.”

Maysville and Mason County have recently taken official action in support of legalization legislation.

Eric Crawford lives every single day in pain from an automobile accident he suffered as a young man,” said Grimes. “It’s because of Eric that both Maysville and Mason County, where he lives, have endorsed the effort to bring Kentuckians relief with medical cannabis. The people it can help – like Eric – are their friends and neighbors. They go to church with them every Sunday. They see them in the grocery store. This issue has a face and a name for our local officials.”

Maysville adopted a resolution last year that “encourages the Kentucky General Assembly to consider legislation for medical marijuana which provides for the care, comfort and relief” of Crawford and other Kentuckians who can benefit from medical marijuana. Mason County’s fiscal court adopted a similar resolution in 2014.

Crawford, a member of Grimes’ panel advising on medical marijuana legislation, told the group last week that medical marijuana had significantly improved his conditions. He showed the dozens of prescription pain relievers, including narcotics, he had been prescribed and have many adverse side effects. Crawford said he feels the most relief with marijuana, which is illegal in Kentucky.

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

The Madisonville Messenger reported Wednesday that members of the Hopkins County Fiscal Court this week voiced support for legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky.

Grimes’ panel last week also heard from other individuals, including two veterans, who attested to the way medical marijuana had greatly benefited them in dealing with physical and mental illnesses. The veterans said severe post-traumatic stress stemming from their service in Iraq had impacted their work and relationships.

Significant evidence exists showing marijuana counters side effects of a large number of illnesses and diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

Erik McLaren     17 November, 2017

Senator Cory Booker to Legalize Marijuana Nationally By Punishing Prohibition States 1 of 2 800x400 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

Above:  WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 10: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (3rd L) speaks during a news conference on medical marijuana as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (2nd L), U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (3rd R), Kate Hintz (2nd R) and Morgan Hintz (R), who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, look on Capitol Hill, on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce a new medical marijuana bill before the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker put forward a bill that would legalize weed in the United States earlier this year and has been promoting it ever since. The legislation goes further than simple legalization by punishing states with racist policing practices. With the Republican-controlled Congress, this bill is a long shot with golden intentions.

The bill would totally remove weed for the controlled substances act, making it legal on a federal level. This has been the main goal for activists since marijuana prohibition first started. “This is an important step,” Booker said in a Facebook Live post, “But it is only a beginning.”

Other issues around legalization center around what to do with people who currently have weed related criminal records. Booker’s bill would expunge criminal records for people convicted of using or possessing marijuana, even if those charges stretch back decades.

“We need to remember that these are charges that follow people for their entire lives, and make it difficult for them to do things we take for granted,” Booker said.

Even if weed was legal federally, individual states could still elect to keep cannabis prohibited. A goal of the bill is address discrimination in drug enforcement.

In order to encourage hold-out states to legalize, Booker’s bill would withhold federal funding from states that arrest black people for weed crimes at higher rates than whites.

According to the ACLU, that includes every state in which weed is illegal.

The bill would also clear people who’ve served time for use and possession. “For people in prison right now on marijuana charges, it gives them an avenue to have their sentences reduced or eliminated,” Booker said.

Booker has political aspirations greater than the Senate. There’s a lot of buzz around Booker and a 2020 presidential campaign. So, this bill could be a way to build a base for a presidential run. While Booker’s plan may seem ambitious, the bill’s message aligns with the popular and political opinion. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans think cannabis should be legal. For the first time in history, the majority (51%) of Republicans support legalization. Booker will likely receive major support from his own party with 72% of Democrats on board for legal weed.

Screen Shot 2017 10 25 at 7.45.55 AM 1 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition statesCourtesy of Gallup

This move also distances Booker from Governor Chris Christie, the wildly unpopular wildebeest that currently represents New Jersey. Christie has promised to strike down legalization. Whatever office Booker is after, his bill certainly pushes him in the right direction.

Erik McLaren

CONTINUE READING…

Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

Erik McLaren     17 November, 2017

Senator Cory Booker to Legalize Marijuana Nationally By Punishing Prohibition States 1 of 2 800x400 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

Above:  WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 10: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (3rd L) speaks during a news conference on medical marijuana as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (2nd L), U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (3rd R), Kate Hintz (2nd R) and Morgan Hintz (R), who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, look on Capitol Hill, on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce a new medical marijuana bill before the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker put forward a bill that would legalize weed in the United States earlier this year and has been promoting it ever since. The legislation goes further than simple legalization by punishing states with racist policing practices. With the Republican-controlled Congress, this bill is a long shot with golden intentions.

The bill would totally remove weed for the controlled substances act, making it legal on a federal level. This has been the main goal for activists since marijuana prohibition first started. “This is an important step,” Booker said in a Facebook Live post, “But it is only a beginning.”

Other issues around legalization center around what to do with people who currently have weed related criminal records. Booker’s bill would expunge criminal records for people convicted of using or possessing marijuana, even if those charges stretch back decades.

“We need to remember that these are charges that follow people for their entire lives, and make it difficult for them to do things we take for granted,” Booker said.

Even if weed was legal federally, individual states could still elect to keep cannabis prohibited. A goal of the bill is address discrimination in drug enforcement.

In order to encourage hold-out states to legalize, Booker’s bill would withhold federal funding from states that arrest black people for weed crimes at higher rates than whites.

According to the ACLU, that includes every state in which weed is illegal.

The bill would also clear people who’ve served time for use and possession. “For people in prison right now on marijuana charges, it gives them an avenue to have their sentences reduced or eliminated,” Booker said.

Booker has political aspirations greater than the Senate. There’s a lot of buzz around Booker and a 2020 presidential campaign. So, this bill could be a way to build a base for a presidential run. While Booker’s plan may seem ambitious, the bill’s message aligns with the popular and political opinion. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans think cannabis should be legal. For the first time in history, the majority (51%) of Republicans support legalization. Booker will likely receive major support from his own party with 72% of Democrats on board for legal weed.

Screen Shot 2017 10 25 at 7.45.55 AM 1 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition statesCourtesy of Gallup

This move also distances Booker from Governor Chris Christie, the wildly unpopular wildebeest that currently represents New Jersey. Christie has promised to strike down legalization. Whatever office Booker is after, his bill certainly pushes him in the right direction.

Erik McLaren

CONTINUE READING…

The Continuing Saga of Kentucky Cannabis…

Headlines from the past week on the continuing argument concerning Cannabis “legalization” in Kentucky…

Witnesses testify against Kentucky legalizing marijuana

LOUISVILLE (WHAS) — A proposal to balance Kentucky’s pension crisis with proceeds from pot sales has gained a lot of attention on social media. Thursday it was the focus of a hearing in Frankfort.  

Governor Matt Bevin has said he’s against recreational or “adult use” of marijuana but Senator Dan Seum, a powerful member of Governor Bevin’s own party, thinks it’s a way to bail Kentucky out of the pension crisis.

There’s still a way to go before even medicinal marijuana could be approved in Kentucky so the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection listened to a panel of experts opposed to pot.

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Law Enforcement Group Opposes Legalized Marijuana in Kentucky

As Kentucky lawmakers explore ways to pay for public employee pensions, a coalition of law enforcement groups say legalizing marijuana for recreational use isn’t the answer.

“I’m not willing to risk my grandchildren’s health to save my pension,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard W. Sanders said yesterday while testifying before the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection. “I don’t think that is the right way to go with this thing.”

Sanders is a 40-year law enforcement veteran with 21 years vested in the state’s hazardous duty pension.

Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified that marijuana is harmful to society.

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Hearing Held in Frankfort About Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Kentucky

Hearing Held in Frankfort About Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Kentucky

A public forum was held with the Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection. The committee heard testimony on cannabis and public safety.

Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Police, the National Marijuana Initiative and Smart Approaches to Marijuana were representative to testify. There was also an opportunity for people who wanted to give their opinion but are not scheduled to testify.

STATE BY STATE: Kentucky Cannabis News

Sen. Dan Seum has said legalizing marijuana and taxing it could help the state dig out of the massive pension hole.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders says this situation isn’t just about the pension.

“My 40 years in law enforcement tells me this is not the savior,” says Sanders. “I’m not willing to risk my children and grandchildren’s health to save my pension.”

During the meeting a committee voted to send a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking for continued and accelerated research.

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Will Veto Any Legislative Attempt to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

One Kentucky lawmaker is pushing for legalization as a way to solve the state’s pension problem, but Gov. Bevin says it’ll have to wait until he’s out of office.

With California, Massachusetts and Maine debuting recreational marijuana markets next year, it may seem like legal weed is everywhere. But beyond the country’s progressive coastal hubs, huge swaths of America are still being thrown in jail for cannabis crimes, with politicians who are supposed to be protecting their constituents pushing blatant lies about weed in an effort to protect prohibition’s status quo.

In Kentucky, Republican state Senator Dan Seum is ready to change those tired traditions, and has already voiced plans to introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, with an eye towards funding the state’s floundering pension program through cannabis tax revenue.

However, rationally or not, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is firmly cemented in the past and will do everything in his power to block Seum’s legalization effort, effectively signaling a death sentence for Kentucky cannabis reform until at least 2020.

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RELATED:

This meeting was not supposed to known to the public… “Frankfort, Anti-Marijuana Discussion”

Additional information here:

KY4MM

(KY) Legalize marijuana now, the people have spoken

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

By Erica Rucker

If Gov Matt Bevin really wants to avoid future state budget deficits and chip away at the pension disaster, instead of cutting services, he must work with state lawmakers from both parties to finally legalize cannabis.

Kentuckians are ready to join the growing number of states where it is legal to some degree — 29 and counting — by changing outdated laws that were based in 1930s “Reefer Madness” hysteria and racism, not research.

Allowing people in Kentucky to use cannabis for medical conditions would be the most humane step, but full legalization is the only logical, economically-sound decision.

It would offer us an option to raise money to repair the state economy and to fight the specter of opioid addiction that has gripped the state for too long. It also would give people safer recreational and medical choices for pain relief and pleasure. And it would benefit communities of color who are disproportionately arrested and prosecuted for drug crimes.

Polls have shown that Kentuckians overwhelmingly support legalization of medical marijuana, and about half support full legalization. With such wide public support across party lines, why have our legislators done nothing? Why hasn’t Bevin stepped in? He has claimed to support legal medical marijuana.

Given his hate for Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, this seems to be an area he could really stick it to the former governor’s son and boost his public image after a contentious year. Beshear has said he won’t support legalization until federal authorities agree.

Our lawmakers are stuck in the past. Look at the struggle it was to return hemp to Kentucky, a cousin of cannabis that historically had generated a lot of revenue in our state, until it was made illegal. And even today, some Kentucky counties remain dry and are losing revenue to nearby counties or states that have alcohol sales.

Kentucky is giving money away. Regardless of the law, marijuana continues to be imported into the state, and Kentuckians are buying it.

To put it plainly, our legislators are out of step with their constituents. Though they are certainly in step with the ancient lexicon and slogans surrounding the use of marijuana, are they being honest?

I’m doubtful. They are being scared and politically stupid.

The decision to support cannabis legalization would put almost no member of the Kentucky House or Senate in political jeopardy. One key supporter of medicinal marijuana, Sen. Morgan McGarvey, said his fellow Democrats need to take a stronger stand.

“I’ve seen people criticize Democrats for being too cautious in their approach. I think you have to realize there is a difference between campaigning and legislating. I have been supportive of a position of more expansive marijuana; but we can’t get that through. There are people who are suffering and there are people for whom this could help. While you can’t get everything you want, you can help some people,” McGarvey, of Louisville, told LEO.

“Call your legislators. Email your legislators. Let it be known that you feel this way. People don’t always feel empowered but these seats don’t belong to us. They belong to the people of Kentucky. Make your voice heard,” he said.

The proof that cannabis has medicinal treatments should be without question. In 2014 Republican state Sen. Julie Denton sponsored a bill to legalize cannabis oil to treat seizure patients. This bill passed and now cannabis oil can be used in some medically-determined situations.

Why are we still wringing hands over other forms of cannabis?

Civil rights lawyer Dan Canon, who is now running in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, recently filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of three people who want to be able to use medical cannabis in Kentucky.

“We’re challenging the prohibition on possession of cannabis by people who have a legitimate medical need. The legislature is refusing to act in the face of overwhelming public support and overwhelming scientific evidence,” said Canon. “This is not the sort of scary monster that the ‘Reefer Madness’ crowd has tried to sell to the American public over the last 80 years.”

Yet Beshear and Bevin want this case dismissed because they feel the Legislature, not a court, should make a decision about legalization.

If the legislators won’t act on their own, then Kentucky, are you ready to catch up with the rest of the nation? If the answer is yes, and by the numbers it certainly seems to be, then it’s time to get loud and in the faces of our lawmakers. It would certainly be to the benefit of the people of our state, much more than standing outside of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office, or writing letters that end up in a dead letter pile in Washington. Local and state political action has a direct and more immediate effect.

“We are so different than the federal government. When you call Frankfort, your message gets to us. When you email our account, it comes to us. When you come to Frankfort you get to see us. It matters more on a state level,” said McGarvey.

States including Colorado are showing legalization works.

Colorado has experienced an economic boost of $2.4 billion, according to the Marijuana Policy Group, a collaboration between the University of Colorado Boulder Business Research Division and BBC Research & Consulting in Denver. The cannabis industry has created some 18,000 jobs — imagine those jobs in Eastern Kentucky where coal mines are closing.

It is time to ask for what most of us want: the chance to choose a safer alternative for a good time and good medicine.

Bevin needs to get his Kentucky chambers together and make these changes so that those who need medicine can receive, and those who use recreationally can boost the economic power of Kentucky to compete in a nation that is quickly leaving it behind.

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Canada takes action to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis

News Release

From Health Canada

Proposed legislation would provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis and crack down on impaired driving

April 13, 2017              Ottawa, ON      

                                                           Government of Canada

The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.

That is why the Government of Canada, after extensive consultation with law enforcement, health and safety experts, and the hard work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, today introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis.

The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. Following Royal Assent, the proposed legislation would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis. This would mean that possession of small amounts of cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence and would prevent profits from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs. The Bill would also, for the first time, make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor and create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.   

In addition to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis, the Government is toughening laws around alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. Under the Government’s proposed legislation, new offences would be added to the Criminal Code to enforce a zero tolerance approach for those driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs. Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body.

Subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, the Government of Canada intends to provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis no later than July 2018.

The Government will invest additional resources to make sure there is appropriate capacity within Health Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Department of Public Safety to license, inspect and enforce all aspects of the proposed legislation. These additional resources will also allow the Government to undertake a robust public awareness campaign so that Canadians are well informed about the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs.

Working in partnership with provinces, territories, municipalities and local communities, the Government will also make appropriate investments to train and equip law enforcement so that Canada’s roads and highways are safe for all Canadians.

In the months ahead, the Government will share more details on a new licensing fee and excise tax system. It will also continue to engage with all levels of government and Indigenous Peoples.

Quotes

“As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis. In many cases, it is easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get cigarettes. Today’s plan to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis will put an end to this. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it.”
Bill Blair
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

“Today, we are following through on our commitment to introduce comprehensive legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis and to create new laws to punish more severely those who drive under its influence. The Cannabis Act reflects an evidence-based approach that will protect Canadians’ public health and safety. By tackling alcohol- and drug-impaired driving with new and tougher criminal offences, Canadians will be better protected from impaired drivers and the number of deaths and accidents on our roads will be reduced.”
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“The bills we propose today are aiming at putting drug dealers and organized crime out of the cannabis business. It will allow law enforcement to focus on other serious offences, including the distribution of cannabis to children and youth and driving under the influence of drugs. Drug-impaired driving puts the lives and the safety of drivers and passengers at risk every day, and we will lead a wide-ranging campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired. The proposed Bill will also provide more tools and stronger laws to punish more severely drivers who drive under the influence of drugs, including cannabis. We will continue to work with our law enforcement, provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders to develop a consistent enforcement approach and to provide support in building capacity across the country.”
The Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“The Cannabis Act will help keep our children safe and address the health risks associated with cannabis. The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Quick Facts

  • The Cannabis Act proposes that legal sales of cannabis would be restricted to people who are 18 years of age and over. Provinces and territories could increase the minimum legal age of sale, purchase and consumption.
  • The movement of cannabis and cannabis products across international borders would remain a serious criminal offence.
  • Following Royal Assent, the Government intends to bring the proposed Act into force no later than July 2018. At that time, adults would legally be able to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household at a maximum height of one metre from a legal seed or seedling. Until the new law comes into force, cannabis will remain illegal everywhere in Canada, except for medical purposes.
  • The provinces and territories would authorize and oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis, subject to minimum federal conditions. In those jurisdictions that have not put in place a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from a federally licensed producer with secure home delivery through the mail or by courier.
  • The proposed legislation would amend the Criminal Code to modernize and simplify the transportation provisions, strengthen the criminal law responses to impaired driving, and facilitate the effective and efficient investigation and prosecution of drug- and alcohol-impaired driving.
  • To facilitate detection and investigation of drug-impaired driving, law enforcement officers will be authorized and equipped to use oral fluid drug screeners at the roadside.

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Contacts

David Taylor
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
[email protected]

Andrew MacKendrick
Office of the Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983

Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613-998-5681

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
[email protected]

Public Inquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866 225-0709

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