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Kentucky Gov. Will Not Allow Cannabis Legalization While in Office

In a Wednesday interview, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin told WHAS radio host Terry Meiners that he would veto any adult-use legalization measure as long as he is in office and that legalization as a way to fund the state’s pension is a “sucker’s bet.”

Bevin pointed to Colorado’s legalization experience, which he said while the state has received a “hundred-and-something-million” dollars in tax revenue, legalization is not worth “the cost.”

“… THC content in marijuana is not like it was even a generation ago. There are people overdosing based on ingestion of products and edibles and things,” Bevin said in the interview. “You have that state being sued by at least two of their border states. You have law enforcement people and emergency rooms being overrun by problems. You have homelessness, it’s spiking in that state. It has not been good for that state.”

The case brought against Colorado by Nebraska and Oklahoma over the voter-approved legalization regime was dismissed by the Supreme Court more than a year ago. There are also zero deaths in recorded history that have been attributed to a cannabis overdose.

The Republican governor, who was born in Denver, said that he planned on calling a special session “soon” for legislators to consider legislation to fix the state’s pension problem but legalizing cannabis would not be on the table as long as he is governor.

Last month, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on medical cannabis on the grounds that “no constitutional right exists to violate a controlled substances law,” according to a USA Today report.

Dan Seum Jr., the son of state Sen. Dan Seum who proposed legalizing cannabis to help fund the state’s pension system, was a plaintiff in that suit. Seum planned on introducing the measure in January; however, after the governor’s comments, it is unlikely to gain much legislative support.

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