Matt Turner

Kentucky Republicans Introduce Medical Cannabis Bill

Passage through the state House of Representatives looks secure, however the state Senate may prove to be an obstacle.

Full story after the jump.

Medical cannabis may soon be legal in Kentucky, thanks to a small group of Republican lawmakers who introduced a bill that would create a regulated market and give doctors the ability to prescribe cannabis, The Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Many leaders in the Kentucky legislature, however, remain skeptical. State Senate President Robert Stivers told The Lexington Herald-Leader, “Where is the study? Deliver me the study. An appropriate Tier 3 study with control groups that says it is medicinal or therapeutic.”

Research, of course, is unfortunately hard to come by, as most know, due to cannabis’ federal status as a Schedule I substance. Sponsors of the bill, however, seem to have a clearer picture of the real issue at hand.

“I’ve never taken an illegal drug in my life. But let me tell you, and I want to say it clearly, and I would say it in front of every camera in Kentucky. If my son or my wife or my parents or one of my brothers or sisters would benefit from medical marijuana, tell me where to get it. Even if it’s illegal. And I would submit that 99 percent of Kentuckians would do the same thing.” — State Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville), bill co-sponsor

House Bill 136 — a 149-page piece of legislation — contains language that would create a regulated medical cannabis system overseen by the Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The state would license dispensaries and track product via a state database and, in some limited cases, allow home grows.

House lawmakers are confident the bill will pass their half of the state Congress. Whether or not the bill would pass a vote in the state Senate, however, remains unclear.

Polling data from Kentucky shows that a majority of voters support medical cannabis.

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