The Kentucky Home of Representatives handed a invoice legalizing medical marijuana in 2020, however it stalled within the Senate.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Common Meeting convened for the primary day of the 2022 legislative session Tuesday and legalizing medical marijuana within the Commonwealth is one situation that can seemingly be up for debate.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, mentioned he stays open to discussing the difficulty however personally has considerations about advancing laws.
Stivers mentioned has seen research concerning the therapeutic advantages of medicinal marijuana, however mentioned those he’s seen have had small pattern sizes or have been carried out over a brief time period.
“This isn’t a drug that is a panacea to remedy the whole lot, but when there have been extra research and the FDA or John Hopkins or any person like that will come out and present the way it ought to be used for medicinal and therapeutic values, then I feel it could be a better path ahead,” Stivers mentioned.
He is also nervous about how legalizing marijuana for medicinal use may affect Kentucky’s crime fee.
Senate Democratic Chief Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, mentioned he thinks the legalization of medical marijuana is lengthy overdue.
“It’s completely loopy that we don’t have medical marijuana in Kentucky,” McGarvey mentioned. “It has overwhelming help by the folks. It’s handed with bipartisan help within the Home of Representatives and it was blocked by the Senate. That block within the Senate must go down. I feel we will go it this yr, we must always go it this yr and even the governor has been leaning on this which supplies it a greater likelihood.”
Home Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, mentioned there’s little curiosity amongst Common Meeting members in each chambers and each events to legalize leisure marijuana in Kentucky.
There may be, nonetheless, work happening to advance one other medical marijuana invoice in 2022.
“Rep. Jason Nemes [R-Louisvlle], who has spearheaded that effort, has taken it upon himself to champion that within the Senate,” Osborne mentioned. “[He’s] working with senators and with Senate management to attempt to get to some type of settlement over there. I feel that we confirmed that we had the votes, loads of votes, to go it out of the Home if the Senate would take it up.”
Senate Republican Ground Chief Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown), who acts as the bulk get together’s speaker on the Senate ground throughout debates, mentioned whereas he would not help legalizing medical marijuana, he will not block an try to take action if there’s sufficient help for a invoice.
“Possibly I am simply too old-fashioned rising up within the 80s with an anti-drug message,” Thayer mentioned. “I am not in favor of it, but when the votes are there and the folks of my caucus wish to go it, I am not going to face in the way in which. If we’ve the votes for issues, we go them. We’re a really member-driven caucus. I feel the marijuana advocates want to have a look at that message. I am not going to attempt to cease it or stand in its manner, however I am going to vote no.”
In 2020, the Kentucky Home of Representatives handed a invoice that will have legalized leisure marijuana with a supermajority, however the measure stalled within the Senate.
The 2020 session was reduce quick as a result of pandemic, and lawmakers shortly shifted focus from social payments to spending payments so they might adjourn on the time the invoice initially handed the Home.