Support Sen. Perry Clark: SB57 and SB76 (2017)

NORML

Legislation filed by Senator Perry Clark of Louisville, SB 57, seeks to establish a statewide, comprehensive medical marijuana program.

Senate Bill 57, The Cannabis Compassion Act, establishes regulations overseeing the establishment of state-licensed dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients. It also permits patients to home cultivate their own supply of medical cannabis.

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 It is time to stop making criminals out of citizens due to outdated and ridiculous laws concerning cannabis.”

Under present state law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail, a fine, and a criminal record.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Data from other states finds that the enactment of medical marijuana access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse and mortality, and does not negatively impact workplace safety, teen use, or motor vehicle safety.

Kentucky patients deserve these same protections.

Click here to contact your Senator and urge their support for this measure.

Additionally, Senator Clark has introduced Senate Bill 76, to legalize the possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for those over the age of 21.

SB 76, the Cannabis Freedom Act, allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, to cultivate up to five cannabis plants, to store excess cannabis lawfully grown for personal use at the location where it was cultivated; and to transfer up to one ounce of cannabis to another person age 21 or older without remuneration.

Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations. 

Click here contact your Senator and urge their support piece of legislation as well.

Thanks for all you do,
The NORML Team

P.S. Our work is supported by thousands of people throughout the country as we work to advance marijuana reform in all 50 states and the federal level. Can you kick in $10 or $25 a month to help us keep going?

NORML and the NORML Foundation: 1100 H Street NW, Suite 830, Washington DC, 20005
Tel: (202) 483-5500 • Fax: (202) 483-0057 • Email: norml@norml.org

https://legiscan.com/KY/research/SB57/2017

https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/SB76/2017

How police tracked down a suspected heroin dealer after a rash of overdoses in Nicholasville

By Karla Ward

kward1@herald-leader.com

 

When a narcotics detective with the Nicholasville Police Department heard about a surge in heroin overdoses in Jessamine County this week, he got busy.

The detective, also a task force officer with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, notified Nicholasville Emergency Medical Services Tuesday that if there were more suspected heroin overdoses, he wanted to be notified. Within two hours, he got a call about a crash involving a suspected overdose.

Court records show that the police work that followed resulted in a federal charge Thursday against a suspected drug dealer. Jeffrey James Ruggiero was charged in U.S. District Court in Lexington with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. His first court appearance was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.

According to an affidavit, the chain of events began when emergency workers arrived on Southbrook Drive in Nicholasville at 7:02 p.m. Tuesday and found a driver, Nathaniel Brezeale, “in obvious distress with agonal breathing and eyes closed.”

Suspecting an overdose, they administered 3 milligrams of Naloxone, and the man revived.

Brezeale’s girlfriend told investigators “that he had a substance abuse problem” and that before the accident, they had been to a double-wide mobile home in Garrard County, where Brezeale went inside alone and stayed for about 10 minutes.

While driving back to Nicholasville, Brezeale began to act strangely, so she asked him to pull over. When he did, the vehicle’s front wheels went over a curb. Passersby called emergency crews.

Two DEA task force officers went to St. Joseph Jessamine and interviewed Brezeale, who told them that he had called Ruggiero that night and asked about buying heroin. He had bought from Ruggiero before, he said.

When Brezeale got to the mobile home, he told investigators, he paid $25 for a tenth of a gram of heroin, which he said Ruggiero took from a larger plastic bag of heroin. Ruggiero placed the heroin onto a piece of paper, and Brezeale snorted it before he left.

A DEA special agent went to Lancaster, found the mobile home and began surveillance about 9:40 p.m., according to the affidavit.

About five minutes later, a Chevrolet Impala left the mobile home heading toward Nicholasville, and the special agent followed. He called Nicholasville police and asked for help. Officers clocked the Impala going 64 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The Impala was stopped, but the driver wouldn’t cooperate. However, “a Nicholasville K-9 was presented to the vehicle and a positive alert was noted. A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in a quantity of suspected heroin being seized,” the affidavit states.

After that, a search warrant was obtained for the mobile home on Carlotta Drive.

Just before midnight Tuesday, about five hours after Brezeale’s accident, officers from the DEA in Lexington, the Nicholasville police detective bureau and Kentucky State Police went to the mobile home and detained Ruggiero while they searched the home and outbuildings.

Police seized about 1 gram of suspected heroin, plus prescription medication, several sets of digital scales and packaging material, and Ruggiero admitted that he had sold heroin to Nathaniel Brezeale earlier in the day, according to the affidavit.

Emergency crews responded to nine overdoses in Jessamine County in a 24-hour period Monday and Tuesday.

Karla Ward: 859-231-3314, @HLpublicsafety

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article126283869.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin review of site for TVA nuclear plant in Oak Ridge

January 12th, 2017 by Dave Flessner

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced today that it has accepted for review the early site permit application from the Tennessee Valley Authority to build small modular reactors on the site of the abandoned Clinch River Breeder Reactor scrapped by the federal government nearly four decades ago. TVA submitted the application and associated information in May 2016, and provided follow-up information through the remainder of the year.

TVA, which last year completed the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor and sold its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, has no immediate plans to build more nuclear plants. But the utility is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to test the new smaller reactors and the preferred site is on the Clinch River.

Illustration by Laura McNutt /Times Free Press.

“Accepting the application for review, or “docketing” the application, does not indicate whether the Commission will approve or reject the request,” NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said.

The move will allow opponents to the proposed new small modular reactors to intervene and request a hearing.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a Knoxville-based environmental group opposed to building more nuclear plants, said today it will fight attempts by TVA to pursue the new nuclear plant design in Oak Ridge.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s high risk energy choices program director, Sara Barczak, issued this statement in response to today’s announcement:

“Once again the Department of Energy is repeating past mistakes by pushing a highly speculative nuclear power technology that doesn’t exist in the real world,” said Sara Barczak, a program director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “This is the same site where breeder reactors were once proposed and ultimately failed, after squandering lots of money. Given there are no certified reactor designs, nor has a thorough review by the NRC of any designs here in the U.S. even been conducted, small modular reactors should be more accurately described as ‘mystery’ modular reactors as there is no rational or economic reason to pursue them.”

Small modular reactors are designed to produce less than 300 megawatts of electricity — only one fourth the size of TVA’s biggest reactors — and are intended to be built in factories with modular designs and installed in small, often underground sites, which proponents believe will be safer and more secure.

CONTINUE READING…

Vindicated: After 28 years in Kentucky prison, William Virgil walks free

By Jason Riley

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William Virgil arrives for court on Jan. 6, 2017 (Photo by Jason Riley, WDRB News)

NEWPORT, Ky., (WDRB) – After insisting he was innocent for decades – including 28 years spent in prison – William Virgil has finally been vindicated, as a judge dropped charges against him Friday for the 1987 murder of a Veterans Administration nurse in Newport.

Virgil’s conviction was thrown out a year ago, and he was released from prison on bond thanks in large part to DNA testing that was not available when he was found guilty.

Prosecutors had said there was still enough evidence to convict Virgil and a retrial was scheduled for April 24, but during a hearing in Campbell Circuit Court on Friday, Commonwealth’s Attorney Michelle Snodgrass recommended dismissing the murder case because a grand jury last month found there was not enough evidence to move forward.

Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward agreed, dismissed the case without prejudice, which means it could be brought back up again.

Snodgrass said it is “not a declaration of innocence,” just what grand jury decided based on current evidence. The case remains open and Snodgrass said evidence was being sent for further DNA testing.

Virgil immediately hugged his attorneys with the Kentucky Innocence Project, which has been working on his case since 2010. It is the 14th person the state Innocence Project has helped exonerate.

In an interview with reporters after he was set free on Friday, Virgil, 66, was asked if he was angry.

“Why would I be angry?” he said. “It’s a waste of time.”

Defense attorneys for Virgil have filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit and had asked the judge to find prosecutorial misconduct.

“He was framed,” Elliott Slosar, the attorney for William Virgil said on Friday. 

Snodgrass says she has found no wrongdoing.

On April 11, 1987, Retha Welch’s body was found in a blood-filled bathtub of her Newport, Ky., apartment. She was reported to have been raped, stabbed repeatedly and bludgeoned with a vase. Her car and several items from her apartment were missing.

Virgil, who was living mostly in Cincinnati at the time, claims he had no idea when Welch died, only learning about it later from a parole officer.

But evidence, according to police and prosecutors, quickly pointed to Virgil, though it was all circumstantial.

A man who was dating Welch said he saw Virgil outside her apartment days before her body was discovered. His clothes and shoes had blood on them. (At the time, there was not enough blood on Virgil’s clothes for testing and DNA was not yet used as evidence in criminal cases.)

Virgil’s fingerprint was found on a lamp in Welch’s apartment. A bloody palm print on the wall couldn’t be matched to anyone involved in the case.

A jailhouse informant claimed Virgil confessed to him while the two shared a jail cell. A former girlfriend claimed Virgil asked for her help in killing Welch.

But the case fell apart in recent years.

Judge Fred Stine overturned Virgil’s conviction in December 2015 based on the findings from the Kentucky Innocence Project, which include: DNA testing showed blood on Virgil’s clothes did not belong to Welch and semen in her was not his; hairs found on Welch’s clothing did not match Virgil; witnesses’ stories no longer held up under scrutiny; and other suspects were ignored.

Last month, Virgil and his attorneys filed a federal lawsuit in Covington alleging police and prosecutors “manipulated witnesses, fabricated evidence and withheld exculpatory information that would have demonstrated his absolute innocence of this crime.”

The Innocence Project alleges, for example, that prosecutors were responsible for destroying a knife in 2005 that had been used as evidence during Virgil’s trial “with full knowledge that forensic testing of the knife could lead to Mr. Virgil’s complete exoneration.”

Prosecutors asked a judge to order the knife destroyed without Virgil being present or being provided notice that such a request took place, according to court records. The knife had been linked to another suspect in Welch’s death.

The Innocence Project claims nearly 100 pieces of physical evidence from the trial have been retained, including two other knives.

Virgil’s attorneys also allege that the jailhouse informant who told jurors Virgil confessed to him while the two shared a jail cell recanted his testimony in a sworn affidavit.

In a 2015 interview with WDRB, Virgil said he was offered a guilty plea that would amount to a slap on the wrist for such a gruesome crime.

Seven years in prison – possibly cut to three or four years with good behavior — but Virgil insisted he was innocent and turned down the deal, taking his case to trial, where he was found guilty and sentenced to 70 years in prison.

At his sentencing, Virgil remained defiant.

“I told them that they had the wrong guy and whoever it was that committed the crime was still out there running around,” Virgil told WDRB News.

He hasn’t budged from that position over the past 30 years, telling the state parole board in three different hearings that he was wrongly convicted, even though admitting guilt and remorse could go a long way towards his release.

For years, he had fought for his release, becoming a jailhouse legal expert for himself and other inmates. His case didn’t get any traction, however, until the Kentucky Innocence Project took him on as a client.

“I had been fighting it for 23 years by myself,” Virgil said. “I was overjoyed to know that someone was finally representing me…Without them, I don’t know what chance I would have.”

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Kentucky may see gun-free school zones become a thing of the past with new Republican bill

Brandon Morse Jan 6, 2017 7:00 pm

Kentucky may see gun-free school zones become a thing of the past with new Republican bill

Statistics show that gun-free zones just do not work. Over seven years, 92% of mass shootings have occurred on gun-free zones, and some of these locations have been schools. It’s an occurrence that some schools, like one elementary school in Texas, are looking to put a stop to by arming themselves with both firearms and the knowledge on how to use them efficiently and tactically. Yet, the problem of gun-free zones in schools remains.

That’s why Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky) is looking to put a stop to them in the state of Kentucky by introducing a bill he calls the “Safe Students Act.”

In a press release from his office, Massie explained that he has introduced H.R. 34 because our children are consistently in danger due to gunmen walking into schools unopposed, and murdering innocents.

“Gun-free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments,” said Massie. “Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.”

The Safe Students Act has garnered the support of three major gun organizations: National Association for Gun Rights, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Association…

Cosponsors include: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).

Common sense says that anyone looking to shoot up a place may think twice, or fail miserably, when the intended victims have the capability to shoot back. So does history, as John Lott wrote in National Review in October 2015.

Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting — and there have been plenty of mass shooting in Europe — has occurred in a gun-free zone. In addition, they have had three of the six worst K–12 school shootings, and Europe experienced by far the worst mass public shooting perpetrated by a single individual (Norway in 2011, which from the shooting alone left 67 people dead and 110 wounded).

With these facts in mind, eliminating gun-free zones on schools is a no brainer.

CONTINUE READING…

 

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/34/text

Kentucky Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana, Take Step to Nullify Federal Prohibition

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 13, 2016) – A Kentucky Senate bill slated for introduction in 2017 would legalize medical marijuana for qualifying patients in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

Pre-filed by Sen. Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville), BR409 would “protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture, if such patients engage in the medical use of cannabis.” The bill will be considered by the Kentucky State Senate during the 2017 legislative session.

Patients would be able to qualify for medical marijuana if they suffered from one of the following ailments listed in BR409:

A terminal illness, peripheral neuropathy, anorexia, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, substance use disorder, mood disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic stress disorder, diabetes, sleep disorder, fibromyalgia, autism, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, Tourette syndrome, anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or the treatment of these conditions

Medical marijuana patients would be allowed to designate a caregiver under BR409, which would permit another individual the legal authority to grow the plant on behalf of the qualifying patient. Dispensaries, called “compassion centers” in BR409, would be permitted to operate as well provided that they comply with the tax and regulatory structure established under the legislation.

“Most of my life we have expended tax dollars pursuing a ban on a plant,” Sen. Clark said in a WKYT news report from earlier this year. “Wasted dollars, they were. We have exponentially increased the power and scope of our criminal justice system by strapping it with issues concerning a plant.”

Despite the federal prohibition on marijuana, measures such as SB409 remain perfectly constitutional, and the feds can do little if anything to stop them in practice.

LEGALITY

The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970 prohibits all of this behavior. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate marijuana within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

Legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky would remove a huge layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana, but federal prohibition will remain on the books.

FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By curtailing state prohibition, Kentucky sweeps away much of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly annual budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution either. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.

A GROWING MOVEMENT

With passage of SB409, Kentucky would join a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice. Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska have already legalized recreational cannabis. California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts are set to join them after voters approved ballot initiatives in favor of legalization last November.

With more than two-dozen states allowing cannabis for medical use as well, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition any more.

“The lesson here is pretty straight forward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

WHAT’S NEXT?

BR409 will need to be formally introduced and pass its committee assignments before it can be considered by the full Senate. Stay in touch with our Tenther Blog and our Tracking and Action Center for the latest updates.

CONTINUE READING…

What is the DEA up to now? What are they doing to our CBD?

When the news hit the fans today concerning the DEA’s “new rule” on the sale of CBD remedies and other products everybody jumped up and said “WHAT?”, or at least I did!

I had been so wrapped up in the Kratom issue lately I hadn’t even been thinking about CBD’s.  Low and behold, I thought, while I was looking over ‘here’, ‘they’ were conjuring up a

new “rule” over ‘there’.  Something else to be able to use to fill up the Courts, Jails, even Prisons with.  It just never ends.  Every time that we as a people come upon anything that may be

legal at the time, that actually may be worth using, and could possibly benefit us in one way or another, ‘They’ come along and snatch it right out from under us.

That is what Agenda 21 (Agenda 2030) is  all about!  Control of the masses through regulation of food and medicines, (among other things).

THIS is unacceptable!  This must stop!  We cannot allow the Government, whether it be State, Federal or U.N., to be able to have this kind of control over our food and other natural plants!

Before the pharmaceutical conglomerates ever existed it was the herb gardens which provided the medicine to the households.  This is referenced throughout history. 

After reading updates and trading information with others who are watching these issues closely as well, it seems like the DEA is just trying to stand up and make some noise so as to get everyone a little worried.

I am copy/pasting a letter here that was forwarded to me from a colleague which states that legally they cannot prosecute for CBD oil as long as it is below .3% THC. 

This having been said, the DEA memo states the following:

The memo states: it serves to clarify and reinforce the DEA’s position on all cannabis extracts, including CBD oil. That position is: They are all federally illegal Schedule I substances. “Extracts of marihuana will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances,” the notice says. CBD oil derived from hemp is now commonly available nationwide via web sites and mail order services. Those operations survive on the assumption that cannabidiol products below the legal threshold for THC percentage in hemp (0.3 percent or less) are technically legal. Not so, says the DEA.

“For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code” and therefore remain federally illegal. In other words: The DEA is confident that it can find enough traces of other cannabinoids in your CBD oil to arrest and prosecute. And if they can’t, they still have the option of arresting and prosecuting based on the CBD oil itself.

Now the question becomes this, will the DEA use this “rule” to stage raids and arrests for marketing CBD products?  Knowing that according to the information I have here from the Folium Legal Counsel anything under the .3% threshold cannot be prosecuted, they can still use it to fill up the Courts and jails and maybe even some Prisons while collecting Fines and Court Costs as well, because not everyone will be able to afford to go to Court and fight the charges, much like Marijuana is now.

So how do we go forward with this information and what do we do to change it?  Start by calling the White House and complaining!  Obviously the current Government as it stands now has lost all touch with its people.  It is not because they are stupid, ignorant, or ill-informed.  It is because they know exactly what they are doing, and they DO have a plan. 

It is time that the people make their own plan.  To take back our Country.

Remember the United States of America, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?

I want it back now.

SK

 

 

A MESSAGE FROM FOLIUM LEGAL COUNSEL REGARDING THE DEA’s MEMO:

 
On December 14, 2016, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration published a final rule regarding the “Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marijuana Extract.” ( https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/14/2016-29941/establishment-of-a-new-drug-code-for-marihuana-extract)
This new rule does not create any new substantive regulation or law regarding the legal status of marijuana or marijuana extract. Instead, it creates a new tracking code number for “Marihuana Extracts” (which include cannabinoids).

Previously, Marijuana Extracts were classified under the code number for “Marihuana. Under the new rule, extracts are now classified separately. The DEA uses these codes to track quantities of controlled substances imported to and exported from the United States. This new rule affects only DEA-registered entities who previously were required to track such materials. As the document states, “[t]he only direct effect to registrants who handle marihuana extracts will be the requirement to add the new drug code to their registrations.” The rule goes into effect on January 13, 2017.

Regarding the legal status of CBD derived from industrial hemp: The 2014 US Farm Bill was an act of congress signed by the president and that is the highest law of the land. The DEA cannot make law and try to redefine a law passed by the US Congress which defined industrial hemp in section 7606 as “Any cannabis sativa L that produces naturally less than .3% THC on a dry weight basis.”
Furthermore, the DEA is not allowed to interfere with a legal state licensed cannabis business – there is very recent case law that set precedent for this in the 9th circuit. See here:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ruling-marijuana-idUSKCN10R1YN
Lastly, the DEA was purposely de-funded by the US Congress last year (and is poised to do the same for this year:
(http://archives.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2015/12/16/congress-set-to-ban-feds-from-enforcing-cannabis-laws-again) from pursuing any enforcement of their archaic interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in legal states.

We hope this information helps you and your customers filter through the mis-information and fear mongering that usually runs rampant anytime a government memo affecting cannabis is circulated. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us directly, but it’s business as usual over here!

 

 

 

The DEA May Have Just Flipped The Script on the Cannabis Industry And Not In A Good Way

 If you are licensed to work with marijuana extracts, you have 30 days from today to update your paperwork. Also, Cannabidiol (CBD) extracts are now Schedule I substances and can’t cross state lines.

Did the DEA Just Outlaw Hemp-Derived CBD?

A new rule published by the DEA today led many in the cannabis industry to assume the worst – that the agency had decided to crack down on hemp-derived CBD. Take a deep breath. This is likely not the case.

New DEA Rule Says CBD Oil is Really, Truly, No-Joke Illegal

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made CBD oil a little more federally illegal in a little-noticed bureaucratic maneuver this morning.

Senator Perry Clark has pre-filed a bill for the 2017 legislative season that pertains to legalizing marijuana in the state …

 

Marijuana Legalization laws hit the books in Kentucky in 2017.

 

Almost one year after filing the Cannabis Freedom Act, Kentucky State Senator Perry Clark has pre-filed a bill for the 2017 legislative season that pertains to legalizing marijuana in the state.

Filed on December 6 for the January, 2017, legislative season, the new bill is called the Cannabis Compassion Act and is filed as BR 409. Nevertheless, little has changed between the wording of the proposed laws of 2015, 2016, and the new 2017 Cannabis Freedom Act.

Now, voters will get another chance to see if this Kentucky marijuana legalization bill will fizzle out or get accepted into law.

Alternatively, the fact that recent elections have replaced some candidates could mean the newcomers are more receptive to marijuana legalization than their predecessors.

Before the elections, Norml gave most of Kentucky’s congressional members a poor rating for their lack of support for any type of marijuana legalization. The exceptions are Republican pro-marijuana legalization advocates Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie.

In particular, it was noted that many Republican Kentuckians in the House of Representatives voted against the 2016 Veterans Equal Access Amendment.

While these elected officials in the U.S. House of Representatives might not be voting for federal legalization of medical marijuana or cannabis, there is still hope that the Kentucky State Senate will have new members that decide to vote for marijuana legalization.

Ballotpedia points out that the Kentucky State Senate had “19 of 38 total seats… up for election in 2016.” The outcome of this election did have some surprises, such as a large number of state senators running for re-election while also being unopposed.

Another interesting note in history is that the current bipartisan makeup of 11 Democrats and 27 Republicans in the Kentucky State Senate has remained the same before and after the election.

This meant that there was no shift in the number of Democrats or Republicans at the Kentucky State Senate before or after the November 8 elections, but there will be a few newly elected officials voting on the Cannabis Compassion Act in 2017.

On the other hand, Kentucky might need to worry about Republicans voting against marijuana legalization because many members of the GOP are not as anti-marijuana legalization as they were in the recent past.

For example, Atlantic quoted Bill Bennett, former Education Secretary under George W. Bush, at a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference, titled “Rocky Mountain High: Does Legalized Pot Mean Society’s Going Up In Smoke?” During the panel discussion in 2014, Bill Bennett said there “used to be a strong conservative coalition opposed to drugs.”

However, in 2014, it was clear to Bill Bennett and other GOP members that the conservative anti-marijuana legalization viewpoint was dissipating in the face of mounting public support for legalization. Bennett concluded with the sentiment that Republicans are “fighting against the tide” on the legal marijuana issue.

In the past, the issues with marijuana legalization in Kentucky in 2016 centered on behind-closed-doors meetings about the proposed law.

Two Kentucky state senators that were commonly quoted as being unsure about passing a marijuana legalization law in the state were John Schickel and Jimmy Higdon. Both of these senators are still in elected positions, and this means they will have another chance to vote on marijuana legalization in January, 2017.

For example, the last update about the 2016 marijuana legalization law in Kentucky was around September, according to WFPL. At that time, it was determined that the 2016 Cannabis Freedom Act was “assigned to a committee but never received a hearing.”

Kentucky state senator Jimmy Higdon was quoted at that time saying that he was not sure how the bill would manifest, and also said marijuana legalization might only be implemented for “end-of-life situations.”

Although Senator Jimmy Higdon’s remarks stand out, an attempt to push the 2017 Cannabis Compassion Act may not be futile despite it being denied in the past. For instance, it appears the Kentucky State Senate was expecting there to be another marijuana legalization bill to vote on in 2017.

In July, North Kentucky Tribune spoke with Kentucky state senator John Schickel, and he was paraphrased as saying that while the Cannabis Freedom Act “never made it to the Senate floor for a vote,” the issue is still considered relevant and “legislators want to further research the issue prior to the start of next year’s session in January [2017].”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, other pre-filed bills for Kentucky to vote on in 2017 include increasing penalties related to narcotics.

CONTINUE READING…

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO FUND SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

FunZilla is a state-of-the-art entertainment center to be located in Glasgow, Kentucky.

“FunZilla is committed to doing business well, as well as doing good with our business.”

— Charles Massie

GLASGOW, KY, USA, December 1, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ — Glasgow, KY – A Kickstarter campaign has officially been launched for ‘FunZilla’, a state-of-the-art indoor Family Entertainment Center to be located in South Central Kentucky. The Kickstarter campaign aims to garner widespread support and financial backing to finance the acquisition of land and construction of the center. Projected opening of FunZilla will be in July, 2017.
Located just outside the city of Glasgow, Kentucky and only 8 miles from Interstate I-65, FunZilla will be housed within a 30,000 square foot building, situated on 3 acres of open land. FunZilla will be an entertainment center that offers a feature-packed, easy to reach party environment for groups of many sizes. The Company’s future plans include an ever expanding menu of party options, attractions and family enticements. FunZilla will feature a unique layout which will allow parents to join in the fun with their children, or simply enjoy watching them romp from a lounge with a set of viewing windows.
Inspired from the realization that a family-friendly, climate-controlled entertainment center didn’t exist in the immediate area, founder Charles Massie set out to provide a cost-effective solution that would appeal to all age groups and function as a leader in the community. “FunZilla provides numerable activities and events for everyone to find interest in. We call it the “Disneyland Effect”. Said Massie. “Most importantly, this also provides strong reasons for you to return regularly to the center for casual fun, special events and concerts. This will not be a “been there done that” experience.”
Some of the key features that will make FunZilla a major play destination for South Central Kentucky include; a gorgeous themed attractions incorporating interactive technology, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a video driving range, video batting cages, a rock climbing wall, and an amusement arcade packed with the latest games.
“FunZilla is committed to doing business well, as well as doing good with our business. We will follow ethical, sustainable, and transparent practices to make sure that we have the best social and environmental impact possible,” says Massie.
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. ‘Backers’ who support a project on Kickstarter get an inside look at the creative process, and help that project come to life. All ‘Backers’ of the FunZilla Kickstarter campaign who pledge $25 or more will receive free admission to FunZilla for a family of four, plus a special gift from the Company. Additional rewards are available at higher pledge levels.
The Kickstarter campaign is officially open until January 1, 2017. For more information about the Kickstarter campaign, visit: http://kck.st/2fiv7D2

Charles Massie
FunZilla Family Entertainment Center
615-306-9481
email us here

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Legalize marijuana for the state’s sake

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Editorial Board

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Since then 28 more states have approved the drug for medical use, with another eight, including California, allowing adults to use the drug recreationally. Unfortunately, Kentucky has been slow to adapt, despite the many benefits legalizing the drug would provide.

Back in the day, Kentucky used to thrive growing tobacco. That same land, rich for growing tobacco, is ideal for growing marijuana, which can also be used to produce hemp, a versatile product which can be manufactured into paper, textiles, clothing, food, plastic, and a multitude of other products. 

Marijuana would also be useful as a medical alternative for many in the state who are dependent on prescription drugs. 

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky has the highest cancer rates of any state in the country, largely due to our large dependence on the coal and mining industries, which has left countless hard-working Kentuckians with lung cancer. The U.S. National Cancer Institute has said that marijuana kills cancer cells along with alleviating the nausea and other symptoms associated with chemotherapy, which poses a much more effective alternative to prescription drugs. 

With so much of our state crippled by a dying coal industry, legalizing marijuana would be an enormous jobs creator for people looking to farm the crop and others looking to get into the business side of the industry with dispensaries. 

While stigmas still exist surrounding the drug, the issue of marijuana legalization is slowly becoming more of a bipartisan issue that draws support from both Democrats and Republicans, including Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who has said in the past that he plans to sign a medical marijuana bill into law during his time in office.

 

It has become a trend in the mainstream media to avoid one of the most pressing issues, not …

States that have approved the drug for recreational use, such as Colorado, tax the drug, and use the money in a variety of ways, from helping the homeless, to improving infrastructure and education. In 2016 alone, Colorado is expected to bring in over $1 billion in tax revenue from marijuana. 

If a similar system of policy was applied in the Bluegrass, money could be used for better education throughout the state, a hot-button issue under Bevin’s administration due to his proposed, but unsuccessful, cuts to higher education. Revenue could also go towards helping revitalize eastern Ky. along with infrastructure, homeless, and veterans, following in the footsteps of Colorado’s successful endeavor with the green. 

According to a 2012 poll by Kentucky Health Issues, 78 percent of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana. It’s time for our lawmaker’s throughout the state to come together and enact a policy to reflect the will of the people. The longer we wait, the more potential tax revenue we miss out on that could go to benefitting Kentuckians in need. It’s time to

“Make Kentucky Green Again!”

Email opinions@kykernel.com

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