This is an open letter to Jack Conway about the Democratic primary campaign for Governor of Kentucky

Geoffrey M Young

Geoffrey M Young


Public Debate Challenge #2: The death penalty.

This is an open letter to Jack Conway about the Democratic primary campaign for Governor of Kentucky, which officially started on Tuesday, January 27 when I filed the papers and named my new running mate for Lt. Governor, Johnathan Masters.

I don’t throw around the word “unethical” lightly, but your refusal to date to contact me to set up a series of debates is an unethical campaign tactic. It constitutes an admission that you don’t care whether Kentucky’s registered Democrats have all the information they need to decide who would make the better candidate for Governor, you or I. You also don’t seem to care whether they have enough information to decide who would make the better Governor of Kentucky, you or I.

You seem to be trying to coast to victory in the Dem primary on 5/19/15 using the pile of cash you’ve amassed over the last several months. Enabled by biased reporters such as Sam Youngman of the Lexington H-L, you seem to be trying to pretend I don’t exist. That’s unethical. I’ll say it again: It’s unethical for any candidate to refuse to debate with his opponent about the most important issues, especially when it comes to a Democratic primary. However many ethical failings the 4 Republican candidates might have – and they have a great many – at least none of them is unethical enough to pretend he has no opponents.

Stan Lee (R) used this unethical strategy against me in our campaign for the Ky House in 2012 in Fayette County. Elisabeth Jensen used the same unethical strategy against me in 2014 during the Dem primary. Her unethical strategy worked well enough to earn her the nomination against Andy Barr (R), but Barr went on to crush her in the general election because she was way out of her depth. She had no experience in politics and I had 35 years. I won 39% of the Dem vote on 5/20/14 anyway, even though she spent 9 times as much money. I’m quite convinced that I would’ve been able to beat Barr if I had received any support at all from the Dem Party Establishment in this state.

If you keep refusing to reply to my debate challenges, you’ll conclusively prove to the voters of Kentucky that you’re just one more unethical politician who doesn’t deserve their respect or their vote either in May or November (if you defeat me in May).

Has your position on the death penalty changed since December, 2011?…/jack-conway-wants-to-continu…/

Public Debate Challenge #2 – Geoff Young (D) vs. Jack Conway (D)

The topic: “Should the death penalty in Kentucky be abolished forever?”

Location: Any indoor facility in Kentucky that can accommodate live TV coverage

Time: 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm, precise time TBD

Possible dates: February 3, 4, 6, 9, or 10, TBD by mutual agreement

Sponsoring organization: the Kentucky Democratic Party

Moderator: TBD

Please call me at (859) 278-4966 at your earliest convenience to hammer out these details.

Campaign web site:

Jaime Montalvo–Guest Editorial WDRB, Louisville, Ky.

Guest POV | Medical Marijuana

Posted: Jan 28, 2015 9:33 AM CST Updated: Jan 28, 2015 3:55 PM CST

WDRB Guest Editorial By Jaime Montalvo


I have Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve been fighting this disease for eight years.

I have muscle spasms, tremor uncontrollably, and I’m scared. Cannabis relieves these symptoms.

In Kentucky, thousands of Veterans suffer from PTSD and haven’t responded to treatment.

Sadly, too many choose suicide as a last resort for escaping their demons. I have personal combat veteran friends who testify that smoking Cannabis relieves them within seconds after waking up from horrendous nightmares.

Kentucky has the highest cancer death rate of all 50 states. You probably know someone who has had cancer. Cancer treatments also bring some of the most debilitating side effects. Twenty thousand Kentuckians a year face this diagnosis. Marijuana has been studied and proven to relieve these effects. The nausea brought about by chemotherapy is relieved within seconds of inhaling Cannabis.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana reports over 90,000 individuals suffer from epilepsy in our area. Like cancer treatments, medications used to manage seizures have debilitating side effects. Not every patient can tolerate the treatments, and the drugs often stop working. Cannabis oil has been heralded for decreasing certain patients’ seizures from 300 per week to zero or one.

Cannabis is helping us cope with our symptoms. Please help us by contacting your legislator at 800-372-7181 asking them to support medical marijuana legislation.

I’m Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, and that’s my point of view.



Kentucky heart patient relocates to Michigan, receives medical marijuana legally and then an experimental pacemaker … it gets worse from there!

Kentucky – January 19, 2015


Erin Vu - pacemaker no leads

Above:  Nanostim™ Leadless Pacemaker

Ms. Erin Grossman Vu, a legal resident of Kentucky who has been disabled for some years with congenital heart disease, relocated on 10-5-2013 to Michigan where she was living with relatives when she was accepted into a Medical Marijuana Program.

“I was first diagnosed with Supraventricular tachycardia. My first event happened when I was still working as a nurse. My heart rate popped up to 250’s & sustained. I’ve been shocked by the paddles. Have been seen in every ER in Metro Louisville for the SVT I was having. I had three cardiac ablations done here in Louisville and the fourth was done in Lansing by Dr. Ip.  After the 4th ablation, I began having slow heart rate events where my heart would drop to 32 bpm no warning & have to sit down or will pass out. Blood can clot at 32 bpm.”

She is one of less than 350 souls in the Nation to have this type of experimental device implanted directly into the heart on 7-10-14. 

She said that her new heart problem arose before moving and Sick Sinus Syndrome occurred when she was unable to use her CPAP machine during an ice storm and electric was down.

She was selected to participate in this St. Jude Medical study by the Nation’s leading device implant Cardiologist, Dr. John Ip of Lansing, MI.

In December she returned to Kentucky and re-established her citizenship here.  She had been referred to a Cardiologist in Lexington Kentucky for follow up care.   However, after the Lexington Cardiologist received her records he refused to treat her and she has yet to be evaluated by him.

In December she was treated for sustained bradycardia, a slow heart rate, at Louisville’s Norton Surburban Hospital on 12-17-14.

Pacemakers are supposed to prevent slow heart rates however she still continues to have cardiac events, chest pain, and shortness of air.

St. Jude Medical and the Lexington Cardiologist (who shall remain unnamed)  have refused to answer why the patient had a slow heart rate with a pacemaker and have refused to give her care at this point.
St. Jude Medical has refused to investigate as to why a cardiologist would refuse to see a pacemaker patient under their study. The FDA has been contacted about the product manufacturer, St. Jude Medical.


“I’m supposed to be interrogated by February 6th.  I don’t have access to the technology needed to communicate with my device.  St. Jude Medical, the manufacturer set  me up to have care assumed by a very specific cardiologist in Lexington. Only about fifteen people in Kentucky have this device.  I’ve had no resolution, I’ve called all the proper places.”

“The Lexington Cardiologist won’t see me, period, as patient or study participant.  The Lexington study nurse told me I can’t have two cardiologists. The ONLY reason I’ve been verbally given, doesn’t make sense for a “study”, I would have had to cancel a cardiac stress test I had done six days ago. I’ve been in chest pain since 12-17-14 when I had a sustained low heart rate with a pacemaker.”

At this time it seems that Ms. Grossman Vu is a seriously ill Heart Patient without a Doctor to care for her.  The question remains whether or not this is due to the Medical Marijuana designation she received in Michigan, or the fact that the “leadless pacemaker’s” is in experimental status.  That being said, she was set up with a Lexington Physician who specialized in this according to her Physician in Lansing Michigan.  So what IS THE REAL REASON why she is being rejected by this Cardiologist?

This issue will be followed up.

Erin Grossman Vu can be reached at



Rand Paul gets highest marks in Marijuana Policy Project’s presidential voter guide

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican (Associated Press)



By David Sherfinski – The Washington Times – Friday, June 26, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky received the highest grade among more than 20 declared and potential 2016 presidential candidates in a voter guide released Friday by a marijuana policy group, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania fared the worst.

Mr. Paul, received a grade of “A-” from the Marijuana Policy Project. The group said his grade was based largely on his sponsorship of a medical marijuana bill, support for reducing marijuana-related penalties and support for allowing states to regulate marijuana for adult use.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Santorum, meanwhile, two other GOP contenders, both received a grade of “F” “because they oppose reform efforts and they are the most vocal supporters of enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have made marijuana legal,” the group said.

“Some of these guys who tout states’ rights, fiscal responsibility, and getting the government out of people’s private lives want to use federal tax dollars to punish adults for using marijuana in states that have made it legal,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the group. “They say using marijuana is immoral or just too dangerous to allow, but serve alcohol, a more dangerous substance, at their fundraisers. The hypocrisy is astonishing.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry scored the second best among Republicans with a “B,” with the group citing his stated support for reducing penalties for marijuana possession.

On the Democratic side, former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia and former Rhode Island Gov. and U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee fared the best with a grade of “B+.” The group cited Mr. Webb’s stated support for overhauling the criminal justice reform system and Mr. Chafee’s signing a marijuana decriminalization into law in 2013.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton got a “B-,” with the group citing a willingness to support more research into potential benefits of medical marijuana.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was the lowest among Democrats with a “D.” The group cited his spearheading legislation to create a federal “drug czar” and mandatory minimum sentencing for marijuana-related offenses.

The full guide can be found on the group’s website.

Read more:
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter




The Washington Times reported on 6/26/15 that the Federal Government is “fast tracking” Pharma research for a Marijuana addiction drug. The research gets $3 million grant as Obama encourages legalization of Cannabis.

This is just too much! We do not need a “drug” to detoxify us from Cannabis! We need more Hemp and Cannabis Oil for Medical use,

Stop the funding effective immediately and give that $3 Million to a better cause.

Fact: GW Pharma has concluded that “Cannabis is not addictive” according to their ad for SATIVEX (which has not been approved for marketing in the U.S. as of yet — And SHOULD BE!). It additionally states that it does not appear to have withdrawal effects when stopped suddenly”…

Stop the INSANITY NOW! Stop the funding for an addiction drug for Cannabis!

Published Date: Jun 26, 2015

Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Disabilities, Health Care




Ole Kaintuck Trading Post


Coal Miners Sign Class Action Lawsuit Against EPA



Image result for Kentucky coal



Laid off coal miners, and some still employed, are compiling signatures for a class-action lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act. The petition currently has thousands of signatures.

Those coal miners from West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania met on Sunday at the Moundsville Eagles Hall from noon to 6 p.m. to show their support for the lawsuit against the EPA for violations that occurred during the process of enacting legislation.

“This is a provision that can be challenged now. It is an administrative and legislative error. It doesn’t have to do with the final rule and we are not attacking the rule in its entirety. We’ll let the states and the coal companies do that at a later date,” said one of the plaintiffs, Kurtis Armann.

Armann said officials found serious problems that occurred during the legislative process, specifically the lack of peer review. 

He adds the pending regulations are destroying economies and a way of life for people in West Virginia. 

Armann anticipates the class to exceed 2,000 plaintiffs and if Indiana and Illinois get involved, it’ll reach between 4,000 to 5,000 plaintiffs.



Chemical weapons disposal plant almost competed



Kentucky News Chemical weapons disposal plant almost competed June 18, 2015 12:50 EDT RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — An official says most major construction on the long-awaited weapons disposal facility at the Blue Grass Army Depot in central Kentucky is nearly complete. The Richmond Register ( reports project site manager Jeff Brubaker told citizens’ advisory panels on Wednesday that only minor projects, such as road paving and fencing, would be left after July. Once operational, the Blue Grass Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant will be used to disassemble and neutralize the mustard, sarin and VX agent munitions contained in more than 100,000 rockets and artillery pieces that comprise the Blue Grass chemical weapons stockpile. The depot has housed chemical weapons dating to 1944 at its 15,000-acre site in Richmond. Brubaker says he expects the facility to begin destroying weapons in 2017. Information from: Richmond Register,
Read More at:

Growing Number Of Kentucky Children Being Removed From Homes

Image result for heroin abuse


Posted: Wed 11:10 AM, Jun 17, 2015


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The number of Kentucky children who have been removed from homes because of abuse or neglect has reached nearly unprecedented levels.

The Courier-Journal reports that there are currently 8,208 children who have been removed from their homes and placed in foster or residential care. Five years ago, that number was about 7,000.

Teresa James, commissioner of the agency that oversees child protection in Kentucky, says that statistic is close to an all-time high.

Jefferson County Family Court Chief Judge Paula Sherlock says much of the blame for the trend lies with the public’s growing use of heroin.

Kentucky lawmakers this year passed a broad bill aimed at combating addiction and getting more people into drug treatment.

James says the state uses about 3,500 foster homes, and is seeking more.


98 new Ky. laws go into effect June 24


Image result for Kentucky


Ninety-eight of the 117 new laws approved during the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly go into effect next week.

Per the Kentucky Constitution, new laws must take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature. Because the General Assembly adjourned March 25, the day for new laws to take effect is June 24.

There are some exceptions, such as bills that contain an emergency clause, like this year’s measure to fight heroin abuse. It went into effect immediately upon being signed by Gov. Steve Beshear.

Other bills specified their own effective dates, such as a measure that goes into effect early next year to offer some civil protections to victims of dating violence.

Both the heroin bill and the domestic violence bill were championed by Hopkinsville’s Rep. John Tilley and Sen. Whitney Westerfield. Tilley and Westerfield are now on a panel overseeing the implementation of the heroin bill.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, here’s a quick rundown of other laws that take effect June 24:

Beer distribution. House Bill 168 states that beer brewing companies can’t own beer distributorships. The measure is meant to affirm that beer is not exempt from the state’s three-tier system of regulating — and keeping separate — alcoholic beverage producers, distributors and retailers.

• Charitable gaming. Senate Bill 33 will allow electronic versions of pull-tab Bingo tickets at charitable Bingo halls.

Child abuse. SB 102 will allow a death caused by intentional abuse to be considered first-degree manslaughter.

• Child booster seats. HB 315 will require booster seats to be used in motor vehicles by children who are less than eight years old and are between 40 and 57 inches in height.

• Crowdfunding. HB 76 will help Kentucky entrepreneurs to gain investors through crowdfunding. The bill will allow people to invest up to $10,000 through a crowdfunding platform while helping businesses raise up to $2 million.

Drug abuse. HB 24 is designed to prevent youth from misusing certain cough medicines to get high — sometimes called “robotripping” – by restricting access to medicines that contain dextromethorphan. The bill will prevent sales of dextromethorphan-based products, such as Robitussin-DM or Nyquil, to minors.

• Drunk driving. SB 133 will expand the use of ignition interlocks for people caught driving under the influence of alcohol. An ignition interlock is about the size of a mobile phone and is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. A person convicted of a DUI must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle. If they have a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start.

• Early childhood development. HB 234 will require early child care and education programs to follow a state quality-based rating system.

• Emergency responders. SB 161 will authorize the governor to order that U.S. flags be lowered to half-staff on state buildings if a Kentucky first-responder dies in the line of duty.

End-of-life care. SB 77 will allow Kentuckians to use a health care directive known as a “medical order for scope of treatment.” These orders spell out patients’ wishes for end-of-life care. Unlike advance directives, the orders are considered to be physician’s orders and are signed by both the patient or patient’s legal surrogate, and the patient’s physician.

• Hunters. SB 55 will ensure that game meat can be donated to nonprofit organizations to feed the hungry as long as the meat was properly field dressed and processed and is considered disease-free and unspoiled.

• Kentucky Employees Retirement System. HB 62 will make sure the agencies that want to leave the Kentucky Employees Retirement System pay their part of the system’s unfunded liability.

• Newborn health screening. SB 75 will require newborn health screenings to include checks for Krabbe Disease, an inherited disorder that affects the nervous system.

• Retirement systems. HB 47 will add the Legislators’ Retirement Plan, the Judicial Retirement Plan, and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System to the Public Pension Oversight Board’s review responsibilities.

• Spina bifida. SB 159 will require health care providers to give information about spina bifida and treatment options to parents whose unborn children have been diagnosed with the disorder.

• Stroke care. SB 10 will improve care for stroke victims by requiring the state to make sure local emergency services have access to a list of all acute stroke-ready hospitals, comprehensive stroke centers, and primary stroke centers in Kentucky. Emergency medical services directors would be required to create protocols for assessment and treatment of stroke victims.

• Tax check-offs. SB 82 will place check-off boxes on tax forms to give people getting state income tax refund the option of donating a portion of their refund to support child cancer research, the Special Olympics or rape crisis centers.

Telephone deregulation. HB 152 is aimed at modernizing telecommunications and allowing more investment in modern technologies by ending phone companies’ obligations to provide landline phone services to customers in urban and suburban areas if they provide service through another technology, such as a wireless or Internet-based phone service. While rural customers can keep landline phones they already have, newly constructed homes in rural areas won’t be guaranteed landline services.


Bowling Green doctor arrested

Bowling Green doctor arrested

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 12:22 AM By Deborah Highland Bowling Green Daily News

Miranda Pederson | Daily News<br />
Dr. C. Fred Gott (center) arrives Tuesday at the William H. Natcher Federal Courthouse. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Kentucky<br />
      indicted Gott on a sealed indictment on conspiracy, unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances-Schedule<br />
      II, unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances-Schedule III, health care fraud (upcoding), health care<br />
      fraud (spirometry) and money laundering.

Miranda Pederson | Daily News

Dr. C. Fred Gott (center) arrives Tuesday at the William H. Natcher Federal Courthouse. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Kentucky indicted Gott on a sealed indictment on conspiracy, unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances-Schedule II, unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances-Schedule III, health care fraud (upcoding), health care fraud (spirometry) and money laundering.

BOWLING GREEN – An investigation that began with a doctor’s office search and records seizure in February 2013 resulted in the arrest Tuesday morning of Bowling Green cardiologist C. Fred Gott, who practiced medicine in the community for three decades.

Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force detectives with the assistance of Metro Nashville (Tenn.) Police and the FBI took Gott into custody at 8 a.m. at an auto diesel college in Nashville where he is thought to be a student, task force director Tommy Loving said.

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Kentucky indicted Gott, 63, on conspiracy, unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances-Schedule II, unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances-Schedule III, health care fraud (upcoding), health care fraud (spirometry) and money laundering. The indictment was sealed pending his arrest.

The investigation began after Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby alerted the task force about drug overdose deaths involving Gott’s patients, Loving said.

During its work assessing deaths in Warren County, the coroner’s office received calls from families and law enforcement regarding concerns about overdose deaths in general, Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby said the day Gott’s office was searched in 2013. Overdose deaths here are attributed to prescription drugs. “Following that search and seizure of the medical records a lengthy investigation continued,” according to a release from the task force. “The DTF working with the United States Attorney’s Office, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Diversion Section and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of the Inspector General, Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch concluded the aforementioned investigation.



Can an Appalachian ‘Silicon Holler’ rise in coal’s shadow?

PIKEVILLE, KY, June 8 | By Valerie Volcovici

Portraits of local heroes are stenciled onto the walls of an old Coca-Cola bottling plant in Pikeville, Kentucky: 10 images that seem to be watching over apprentices hunched over keyboards in what has become the office of businessman Charles “Rusty” Justice’s digital startup.

Those pathbreakers include John Goodlett, a NASA engineer who worked on the Mars Viking landers and Catherine Langley, the first Kentucky woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. All hailed from the coal producing counties of eastern Kentucky, now grappling with the industry’s decline.

Justice hopes they will inspire the apprentices, nine of whom are former coal workers, as they re-train at Bit Source, the software and web development company he co-owns.

“Coal miners are high-tech workers – they just get dirty,” says Justice, listing the tech skills that miners used daily: computers, robotics and 3D satellite imaging.

As market forces and federal regulations squeeze east Kentucky’s coal industry, people are searching for new lines of work.

“The middle skill economy is going to really explode in the next few years,” says Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, a Democrat who is running for governor in November. “The jobs will be in logistics, infrastructure, health services and IT, and I want those jobs here.”

Kentucky hopes to lay the foundation for that kind of economy in August, when construction begins on the fiber backbone of a planned $250 million high-speed Internet network for the whole state, starting in the rural east.

Kentucky ranks 46th among U.S. states in high-speed Internet access, with nearly a quarter of rural areas lacking any access.

It will take at least a decade for high-speed Internet to have a real impact, says Robert LaRose, a professor in telecommunications at Michigan State University.

“Broadband access is only the beginning,” LaRose said. “The workforce has to be retrained, and overall levels of educational attainment need to be raised, including both school children and mid-life career changers.”


In December, Kentucky signed a deal with Australia’s Macquarie Capital to build out the 3,000-mile (4,800-km) open access network with $50 million in state bonds and federal grants.

“We’re going to build the system and we’re going to make it available,” Governor Steven Beshear said in December. “But it’s up to our businesses, our communities and our educational institutions to take advantage of this opportunity.”

That point was underscored by Richard Lowenberg, a broadband planner who runs the 1st-Mile Institute’s New Mexico Broadband for All initiative.

“Building out needed broadband infrastructure to all alone will not assure improved quality of life as an outcome,” Lowenberg said. “That is dependent on how we use and what we do with our new high-bandwidth networks.”

Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, who has represented eastern Kentucky for 34 years, says broadband will create a “Super I-Way” of information technology jobs, like data management and call centers. He envisions the rise of what he calls “Silicon Holler,” a technology corridor in the small villages clustered between Appalachia’s rolling hills.

There was a hint of that potential this month when customer care and electronic billing company EOS announced plans to invest nearly $4 million in a 20,000 square foot (1,900 square meter) call center in Somerset, promising to create 150 jobs.

Jeff Whitehead, executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) in Hazard, a workforce training program serving 23 coalfield counties, says laid-off coal workers are “hungry” for IT and tele-working jobs.

Whitehead said EKCEP received more than 900 applicants when Bit Source asked him to recruit its first 10 trainees last year. EKCEP pays for Bit Source’s 22-week traineeships through its Hiring Our Miners Everyday (HOME) program, which gets $11.3 million from the Labor Department. Around 2,300 laid-off coal workers are enrolled.

The EKCEP is trying to create a local IT culture by working with community colleges to provide online courses that can be completed in months instead of a four-year degree, and intensive coding camps. EKCEP has found opportunities for workers outside the region, such as at Toyota’s manufacturing plant outside of Lexington in Kentucky’s more prosperous Bluegrass region. But many workers would rather remain in Appalachia.

Access to broadband, however, does not always translate into better education, Michigan State’s LaRose warned, and greater exposure outside the local community sometimes makes people “less satisfied with where they live.”

“When that’s all done, will the new knowledge workers stay around and/or is rural Kentucky a place that will attract tele-workers?”

Jack Duff, who manages a tele-works training hub in Hazard that has placed laid-off coal workers in jobs from customer service to billing, thinks it will.

“Our coal industry is going down,” Duff said. “One thing I’ve learned – and I am a old decrepit buzzard – is you’ve got to keep moving forward. Our people have to adapt.” (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Frances Kerry and Grant McCool)


"Pot Heard Around the World"


FRANKFORT – Hoping to end the prohibition against hemp and cannabis, a group traveling the United States will rally today at the Capitol as part of their

Pot Heard Around the World” campaign.

A nationwide campaign to raise awareness and educate Americans about the numerous uses for hemp and cannabis, the “End Of Prohibition Capitol Tour” started bringing local pro-hemp and cannabis organizations together in the beginning of June at capitols across the country.

From Georgia, Kentucky to Kansas the tour members are working to propel cannabis and hemp legislation forward in 10 state capital cities in a 17-day Southeast U.S. tour.

Working with doctors, patients, politicians and business owners the goal is the establishment of a responsible, safe industry.

A news conference will take place in the Capitol Rotunda from 3-4 p.m. today with a rally to follow from 4-5:30 p.m.

This isn’t a typical pep rally for pot, but campaign member, COO and co-founder for the campaign Nashville Rizzi said the campaign helps educate people about the rules and regulations of opening businesses where cannabis and hemp is legal.

“We do a lot of bringing different local organizations together that may be working toward the same goals,” Rizzi said.

“Some people support medical marijuana or hemp legislation. We raise awareness, provide a place to introduce those groups to each other and strengthen support in the area.”

Jaime Montalvo, president of the nonprofit Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana, isn’t a stranger to legislators at the Capitol as he has lobbied for medical marijuana legislation in Kentucky for several years.

He will attend the event today with three other patients.

After going through a gauntlet of steroids, muscle relaxers, chemotherapy, interferon injections and opiates to manage his multiple sclerosis, Montalvo found using marijuana less debilitating than the side effects of his prescription medications.

Montalvo advocated during the 2015 legislative session for the Cannabis Compassion Act which would have made Kentucky the 24th state in the U.S. with Washington D.C. to legalize medicinal marijuana.

When asked why he is an advocate and why is he going to the rally, Montalvo said it is for others who can’t.

“We do this for those patients who are far too sick to travel across the state, those who fear the stigma, or those who fear being labeled a criminal for doing what they have to do for a better quality of life,” Montalvo said.

“We’ve seen far too much pain and suffering to walk away from this fight and allow our legislators to do nothing. We know the relief it can provide to the sick and disabled patients of Kentucky.”