Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky touted its potential as a viable alternative to ease the state’s addiction woes from opioid painkillers.
Kentucky Marijuana News and Politics
McConnell, Mitch - (R - KY)
317 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Paul, Rand - (R - KY)
167 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Sen. Paul is up for re-election in 2016
State marijuana law from FindLaw.com:
Marijuana possession and sale remains almost entirely illegal in Kentucky. While a law was passed in April of 2014 allowing patients access to cannabidiol (or “CBD,” a non-psychoactive element of marijuana) in medicinal cases, it is not expected to increase availability or use. Although other states have amended their drug laws to permit marijuana legalization and decriminalization, possession and sale of marijuana is still a crime in the Kentucky, with certain levels of possession constituting a felony under state law.
Marijuana Policy Project on Kentucky:
Last update: July 22, 2015
ACLU study shows Kentucky’s harsh marijuana laws result in racially disproportionate arrest rates
A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in Kentucky are six times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Kentucky House Speaker emerges as medical marijuana champion for 2015
Medical marijuana efforts got a big boost in Kentucky when House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D- Prestonsburg) announced that he would sponsor a medical marijuana bill for the 2015 session. Stumbo’s bill, HB 3, is a very restrictive bill that would have made medical marijuana legal for Kentucky patients who were certified by a physician.
Unfortunately, the legislature adjourned in late March without taking action on the bill.
Despite the bill’s failure, Stumbo told reporters that he sees the issue gaining support in Frankfort. “I think it’s one of those issues … that the more people learn about it, the less they fear it,” he said.
Kentucky legislators have been dragging their feet for years on medical marijuana, but that finally started to change in 2014, when members of the House Health and Welfare Committee made history by voting 9-5 to approve an effective medical marijuana bill, HB 350.
In 2013, the Lexington Herald-Leader editorialized in favor of allowing medical marijuana. Today, with Speaker Stumbo as a champion on the issue, even greater progress appears to be possible.
Lawmakers pass, governor signs limited CBD bill
On Thursday, April 10, 2014, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law a proposal that is intended to allow patients to use cannabidiol (“CBD,” a non-psychoactive component of marijuana) if directed by a physician. The new law went into effect immediately with his signature, but it is extremely unlikely it will actually result in patients being able to access CBD. Despite concerns about access, and the fact that this legislation excludes the vast majority of medical marijuana patients, it is still a positive step forward.
For more information on this new law, please see our summary of SB 124.
Kentucky Cannabis News