Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is considering executive action to legalize medical cannabis in the state after the Senate majority leader effectively killed the bill approved by the House last month, the Associated Press reports. During his weekly news conference, Beshear said he would seek input as his legal team explores his options to unilaterally enact the reforms as governor.
“I want to be clear, I am for medical cannabis. I want it done in the right way. And we’re going to be looking at our legal options very closely. And at the same time, we want to hear from you.” – Beshear via the AP
Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron warned Beshear would risk overstepping his legal authority by legalizing medical cannabis via executive order.
“The General Assembly is the policy-making body of this state,” Cameron said in a statement, “and we’ve seen the problems that result when the governor tries to circumvent the legislature and make unilateral policy decisions.”
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers also pushed back on any plan by Beshear to legalize medical cannabis without the buy-in from the Legislature.
“He simply can’t legalize medical marijuana by executive order,” Stivers said. “You can’t supersede a statute by executive order because it’s a constitutional separation of powers violation.”
Beshear argued that he believes it’s his “obligation to see what’s possible, given the will of the people and their desire to move forward on this.”
A February 2020 Kentucky Health Issues Poll found nine in 10 Kentucky adults backed medical cannabis legalization in the state.
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe