Across America, Election Day showed strong support for marijuana legalization, but can Kentucky expect the same in 2017?
While Kentucky had some promise in 2016 that legalizing marijuana was in the works, they did not join the eight states that voted for either recreational or medical marijuana on November 8.
According to Marijuana Policy Project, marijuana was legalized for recreational use in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. In addition, Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, and Montana all voted for medical marijuana.
Currently, 28 states in America have legalized medical marijuana, but will Kentucky catch up anytime soon?
The excitement with Kentucky marijuana laws started in December, 2015, when state senator Perry Clark introduced the idea after many previous attempts.
Dated March 6, the bill Perry Clark introduced was called the Cannabis Freedom Act in Kentucky.
Following this, updates about Kentucky marijuana laws hit a milestone on July 5. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, meetings were being held “behind closed doors” about a proposed medical marijuana law.
At the time, Kentucky senator John Schickel, said they needed to hold the meetings about marijuana legalization to “vet” the issue, according to WFPL.
On July 11, WKMS reported that Kentucky’s medical marijuana laws got a boost of support by the prestigious health organization in the state, the Kentucky Nurses Association. About legalizing marijuana in Kentucky, a representative for the nurse’s association stated, “providing legal access to medical cannabis is imperative.”
Although it was talked about in meetings at the Kentucky Senate, according to their notes posted in July, August, and October, the marijuana legalization issue appeared to be stalled.
In late September, WFPL concluded their article about the marijuana legalization attempts in Kentucky with “the bill was assigned to a committee but never received a hearing.”
They also quoted Kentucky state senator Jimmy Higdon, stating that the lawmakers were confused about how the bill would be implemented. Senator Higdon said he would mainly be interested in allowing medical marijuana “to be prescribed in end-of-life situations.”
Does the lack of new updates mean that the bill has completely dried up, and Kentucky will not be seeing more medical marijuana laws to vote on in the next election?
Sadly, the pre-filed 2017 Kentucky House Bills that are available online do not reflect any updates about marijuana as of November 25.
Despite this, there could be updates in the near future because the Cannabis Freedom Act that was discussed in 2016 was actually filed in early December, 2015. This means Kentucky still has some time to see if marijuana legalization might be a big part of elections in the state in 2017.
On the other hand, Kentucky could get a lot of new laws about controlled substances in 2017, but they are not marijuana-related. For example, pre-filed bill BR 201 states it will “create the offense of aggravated fentanyl trafficking” in the state of Kentucky law books.
Adding to this, pre-filed bill BR 210 that sits before the Kentucky state senate in 2017 states its purpose is “to make trafficking in any amount of fentanyl or carfentanil subject to elevated penalties.”
New proposed bills in the state of Kentucky are also targeting the medical community. For example, pre-filed bill BR 202 states the following.
“[A] practitioner shall not issue a prescription for a narcotic drug for more than seven days unless specific circumstances exist.”
Of course, Kentucky might not have time to vote on marijuana legalization because Donald Trump may not be building his cabinet with marijuana supporters.
For example, CNN reported on November 25 that Donald Trump is appointing a marijuana legalization opponent, Senator Jeff Sessions, as his Attorney General.
About marijuana, Jeff Sessions was quoted as stating the following at a senate hearing in April, 2016.
“Good people don’t smoke marijuana. We need grown ups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger.”