House Committee Delays Kentucky’s Controversial Medical Marijuana Bill

Despite strong forces in the opposite direction, the house committee has delayed the controversial Kentucky medical marijuana bill.

The proposed medical marijuana bill was delayed on Wednesday by Kentucky lawmakers. House Bill 166 received a 14-4 vote which outs it off until a later date.

Many supports stated they will still continue their fight, although many were in tears after the vote.

Rep. John Sims, the bill supporter stated that it is unlikely that the bill will be reviewed this, but all hope is not lost. A quadriplegic, Eric Crawford from Maysville, is a supporter of medical marijuana. The substance assists with his pain caused by glaucoma and injuries from an accident he had in 1994.  He stated that although the bill was delayed he is optimistic that eventually, Kentucky will be one of the many states to have legalized medical marijuana.

“I will be here next year during the session to get medical marijuana legal.”The proposed bill states that in order for a patient to receive the medical marijuana it has to be recommended by an authorized doctor, and will only be dispensed from state-regulated pharmacies.

If the local government didn’t act within two years, residents could petition for a vote, similar to a wet-dry vote. This entitles the city or a county’s residents to decide if they should authorize the use of medical marijuana.

Louisville Republican, Representative Jason Nemes, is disappointed that the bill is pushed back. He stated that there is a possibility, the bill could be reconsidered later this year as opposed to next year if the necessary changes are made immediately and accurately.

Nemes stated that medical marijuana has proven to be helpful to many that are in need of it, but he says some of the provisions of the bill should be amended. Like the one that allows medical marijuana users to possess up to 12 mature plants.

“That seems excessive.”
Example medical marijuana which supporters plead with lawmakers to legalized. Image via Courier Journal.

State secretary is hopeful that a compromise can be made regarding the bill

The state secretary, State Alison Lundergan Grimes, stated that she trusts Nemes is not kidding about achieving a bargain and not a tactic to stall or kill the bill.

“I’m counting on Rep. Nemes to keep his word, craft a meaningful compromise.”

She continued he statement saying she is optimistic an understanding can be reached and collectively they can work to get House Bill 166 passed this session. Kentuckians overwhelmingly support medical cannabis. They are tired of waiting and will remember inaction at the ballot box in November.