Frankfurt, Kentucky – A bill legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky has passed the state’s House of Representatives in a 65-30 vote.
The passage of HB 136 is a historic moment for medical cannabis advocates, who have tried for decades to pass legislation as 33 other states have legalized either medical or recreational marijuana usage.
The bill would prohibit the smoking of marijuana but would allow other forms of consumption, such as edibles, oils, and pills. Regulates and taxes medical marijuana sales, although it’s not being touted as a revenue bill.
Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) filed similar legislation in 2019, but the House adjourned without taking action. He’s also co-sponsoring this one along with 50 other representatives.
If enacted into law, Kentucky will join the 33 states that have passed medical cannabis laws.
“Kentuckians have been waiting far too long for safe, legal access to cannabis for medical use. Patients and doctors in other states have learned through experience that cannabis is beneficial as an alternative to opioids and other prescription drugs.”Matt Simon, a legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a news release.
With the bill, medical marijuana would be regulated by the Department for Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control. The state-run system would issue licenses for cultivators, dispensaries, safety facilities, processors, practitioners, and patients.
A recent poll found that 9 in 10 Kentucky adults are in favor of allowing the purchase and use of marijuana for medical purposes if a doctor recommends it. That 90 percent should be compared to the 78 percent in 2012, which is the last time that question was asked.
The poll also found that 6 in 10 adults they questioned said they supported marijuana and its use under any circumstance.
Gov. Andy Beshear has expressed his support for medical marijuana.
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