Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said during a cannabis-focused town hall in Frankfort that 90% of Kentucky adults support medical cannabis legalization in the state, WKYT reports. Beshear is holding a series of town halls on cannabis policy as he weighs executive options for legalizing medical cannabis.
Ninety percent of Kentucky adults support medical cannabis and the Team KY Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee will help ensure every voice is heard as I weigh executive action that could provide access for those suffering from chronic pain or our veterans suffering from PTSD.1/2
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) July 24, 2022
State Rep. Al Gentry (D) said during his remarks that his survey on the issue over the last five years “has drawn between 85 and 91% approval.”
Gentry has sponsored a medical cannabis legalization bill in the state since he was first elected in 2016 but the measure has never been considered by a committee in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Last March, Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer (R) said he would not bring a medical cannabis bill up for a vote because there were “not enough votes” to pass the reforms.
Beshear said in April that he would consider his options as governor to legalize medical cannabis but Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron has warned that the governor would likely be overstepping his legal authority by using an executive order to enact the reforms.
“The General Assembly is the policy-making body of this state,” Cameron said in a statement following Beshear’s remarks, “and we’ve seen the problems that result when the governor tries to circumvent the legislature and make unilateral policy decisions.”
Kentucky Republican Senate President Robert Stivers also pushed back on Beshear’s plan, saying “You can’t supersede a statute by executive order because it’s a constitutional separation of powers violation.”
Last month, Beshear created a 15-member Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee to help advise him on medical cannabis policy. The committee includes physicians, medical cannabis advocates, public health workers, and attorneys.
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