Kentucky Senator Pre-Files Bill to Legalize Cannabis

Kentucky State Senator Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville) has pre-filed a bill for the 2016 legislative session that aims to legalize marijuana in the state for adults aged 21 and older, The Daily Chronic reports.

Sen. Clark is a longtime advocate for more sensible cannabis laws, and announced on Friday that he had pre-filed the bill, entitled the Cannabis Freedom Act.

“Too many Kentuckians have had their lives stymied with criminal records as a result of nonviolent marijuana convictions. That is wrong,” said Sen. Clark. “It is time to stop making criminals out of citizens due to outdated and ridiculous laws concerning cannabis.”

“It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol… The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth.”

The law would permit adults to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow no more than five plants for personal use. Production and sale would be regulated according to a three-tier system that would prevent the vertical integration of producers, processors and retailers, and protect against the creation of monopolies.

Any future tax revenues would be earmarked for public schools and college scholarships for in-state students. According to a press release, revenues would also fund “evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs, provide grants to local law enforcement agencies to purchase protective equipment and would provide additional revenue to the general fund.”

Public consumption would remain illegal and offenders would be subject to a $100 fine.

Photo Credit: Bryce Fields

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