(Louisville, KY) Medical Marijuana Town Hall Comment Form


The following comment form is being circulated to give the Citizens of the Louisville Metro area of Kentucky a chance to voice their opinions concerning the ongoing medical marijuana discussions in the Legislature.

Please take a moment if you live in this area to fill out the form and let them hear your feelings on this subject.

Thank You!

Medical Marijuana Town Hall Comment Form

Louisville Metro Council’s Health and Education Committee Medical Marijuana Town Hall Comment Form. The Louisville Metro Council values your input on a resolution under consideration regarding the legalization of Medical Marijuana.



KY Cannabis Freedom Coalition Requests Your Help!



Call NOW 1-800-372-7181


AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis.
     Establish and create new sections of KRS Chapter 245 to define terms, allow for possession, growth, use, processing, purchasing, transfer, and consumption of cannabis;  LINK




House Bill 166 filed for medical cannabis legalization

  • JOSHUA SAMMONS joshua.sammons@lee.net
  • Jan 11, 2018
  • State Rep. John Sims

    FRANKFORT — A medical cannabis bill acquired support and has officially been submitted to the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

    State Rep. John Sims is the primary bill sponsor with State Rep. Alan Gentry as a cosponsor. Sims said that he stands behind the bill because of research and studies that show medical marijuana use as effective in certain situations.

    “There are studies showing it helps without forcing someone to take pills every day,” said Sims. “This bill would allow for physicians to prescribe it to patients as an option.”

    Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes called on Kentuckians who are passionate about medical marijuana to join a campaign to not only educate and lobby the General Assembly in support of the House Bill 166.

    “What started as a whisper years ago is now a loud chorus. Kentuckians have declared 2018 as the year they expect action on medical marijuana from their legislators,” said Grimes. “Now, with 29 states and the District of Columbia offering relief in the form of medical marijuana to their citizens, we must waste no more time. We’ve heard real, heart-wrenching stories from all over the Commonwealth about how access to cannabis can provide long-lasting and life-changing relief. The serious discussions this task force had have resulted in a solid piece of legislation that can change lives.”

    Rep. Gentry said once Rep. Sims asked him to look more into the facts and research behind medical marijuana usage, it became a no-brainer.

    “My best friend growing up suffered from epilepsy,” said Gentry. “He’s a successful businessman now and he stumbled across medical marijuana and now his seizures have went away.”

    After losing his arm earlier in his late twenties, Gentry became involved in disabled sports. He took a liking to golf and started competing and met a lot of people that suffered from chronic pain because of their disabilities.

    “I’ve seen several guys suffer from opioid addiction,” said Gentry. “And then I have seen guys move to medical marijuana successfully.”

    The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine reports that opioid deaths have fallen by 25 percent in states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

    Studies show that Medical Marijuana use can help with or counter side effects of PTSD, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other conditions or diseases.

    The bill gained significant traction because of Maysville residents Eric and Michelle Crawford.

    The Crawfords’ started fighting for the use of medical marijuana because of Eric’s state of health.

    Eric is a quadriplegic – his spine was injured in a car accident that occurred in 1994. He met Michelle during rehabilitation at Cardinal Hill. The two became inseparable and started their journey to have medical marijuana be accessible to those in need here in Kentucky.

    The couple travelled throughout the state from town hall meeting to town hall meeting to speak on the subject. When Eric’s health would allow, they would travel to Frankfort for the general assembly at least once a week.

    “I’ve been living in pain for too many years. Thankfully, I have found medical marijuana works,” said Eric Crawford. “I want the relief I experience — natural, organic relief — to be accessible to every Kentuckian who needs it. And let every legislator know, in 2018 Kentuckians are watching. We are expecting you to act. You will hear from us.”

    Grimes and Sims’ task force includes members of Kentucky’s medical community, including doctors, nurses and medical administrators, as well as representatives from law enforcement and state agencies with regulatory oversight, medical marijuana advocates, and military veterans.

    “House Bill 166 is the best bill in the United States of America for medical cannabis,” said Sims. “There have been hours, weeks, and months spent on this bill to make it the gold standard. This about improving the health of Kentuckians.”

    “A majority has to promote it to committee to even get it to a House vote,” said Gentry. “The best way for people to get involved is to speak out to legislators.”


    HB 166 PDF LINK


    Kentucky: Marijuana Legalization Bill to be Introduced For 2018


    Republican state Senator Dan Seum plans on introducing legislation for the 2018 session that legalizes the adult use of and sale of cannabis.

    Lawmakers in the 2018 legislative session will be primarily focused on crafting and passing a two-year state budget bill. The Senator believes that casting adult use legalization as a “jobs bill” will gain in traction.

    “I’m looking at adult use, because that’s where the money is at,” Seum said.

    According to the DEA, agents confiscated over 300,000 marijuana plants in Kentucky in 2016 — the third highest total of any state in the nation.

    Enter your information below to send a letter to your state elected officials in support of this effort.


    Kentucky is already a marijuana state; we just have chosen the least effective way to manage that fact…

    GUEST OP-ED: Time to rethink Kentucky’s marijuana laws


  • David Adams/Guest Op-Ed
  • Kentucky is already a marijuana state; we just have chosen the least effective way to manage that fact, causing incalculable harm and missing practically all the benefits of embracing a natural advantage at our fingertips.

    As our nation quickly approaches three dozen states with at least some form of legal marijuana production, our Commonwealth wastes money chasing people it can’t catch growing a medical crop it mostly can’t benefit from, serving a decades old propaganda scheme it doesn’t really take seriously. People with epilepsy, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, depression, cancer and arthritis seeking relief with cannabis risk not only arrest attempting to make a purchase, they face uncertain quality or effectiveness from sources stuck in the shadows while residents of three neighboring states already benefit from well established science ensuring results and safety.

    Spending limited available police resources hunting marijuana plants and imprisoning growers and consumers will never make a dent in anything except our economy. Attempting to avoid detection and prosecution inspires real criminal activity, creating potential for far more danger than a few plants. People caught in this web of official ineptitude then face being removed from the workforce for an extended period and then labeled a convict forever, further limiting their productivity. If we want to improve the fight against crime, ending the war on cannabis is a great place to start. Maybe we could even put that money back into police pensions in order to keep our protectors on their real job without the distraction of prosecuting medicine.

    Probably the oldest and most-accepted criticism of legal cannabis is that it is a “gateway drug.” But this rationale fails on two points in terms of justifying continued government prohibition. Colorado has seen a significant drop in opioid overdose deaths as its marijuana production has grown. Kentucky is going in the opposite direction. The myth of marijuana overdosing is just that: a myth. In fact, the greatest risk in youthful experimentation with marijuana probably comes from what passes for “drug education” in schools now. Our children are told that all illegal “drugs” are unsafe. If they try marijuana anyway and find it to be relatively mild, the temptation then is to think they may have been misled about harder substances too, sometimes with disastrous results. In fact, legal marijuana production could easily finance a public education campaign with facts from scientists about overuse rather than hoping that somehow black market dealers — or maybe Google — will provide education on responsible use.

    Lots of Kentuckians would be surprised to know how many of their friends and neighbors use marijuana responsibly. Government prohibition is full of unintended consequences. People who can benefit from purely medical use face real fear from law enforcement, while being forced to weigh that against their health and well-being. Prohibition encourages unscrupulous dealers, who might not concern themselves with poor quality product damaged by pesticides, mixed with other substances or cultivated incorrectly to address intended health benefits.

    Herbal Healing is a marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs, Colorado run by Kentuckians. They moved there to set up and run a successful business serving people who get to benefit by the transparency of their public business. Their salaries support their families and their profits help grow other businesses around them. We aren’t stopping operators who would be like them with our laws, but we are limiting their ability to strengthen our communities by making them hide their activities. We already have a big enough problem of gifted Kentuckians leaving our state to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Marijuana prohibition is an outdated, failed, totally ineffective policy. End it now. 

    David Adams does financial consulting for businesses and individuals throughout Kentucky. He has written and been featured in local and national media for several years including the January 2018 Washington Post Magazine.


    Hemp is ‘the next big thing’ in pain management as growth and research expand in Ky.

    By Beth Warren Louisville Courier Journal

    To some it seems taboo. But a nationally renowned pain doctor says a four-letter word can ease aches and anxiety without the risk of addiction: H-E-M-P.

    “It’s gonna be the next big thing,” said Dr. James Patrick Murphy, a former president of the Greater Louisville Medical Society who treats patients in Kentucky and Indiana.

    Hemp won’t alleviate acute pain, Murphy said, but it can lessen more moderate pain — allowing some patients to reduce or stop taking addictive pain pills that fuel the heroin and opioid epidemic.

    With Louisville losing an average of one person a day to drug overdoses, doctors and patients are scrambling to find safer ways to treat pain.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved hemp products for use as medicine, and clinical trials on cannabinoids or CBD oil — extracted from the hemp flower —are pending. But Murphy and other doctors seethe oil as a promising option, and many people who are trying it for themselves say it works.

    “People are coming in using this stuff,” Murphy said. “We have to learn about it.”

    CBD oil has been credited with significantly reducing the severity of violent and potentially deadly epileptic seizures — especially in children.And hemp seeds are considered a “superfood,” rich in omegas and protein.

    Yet the hemp plant is often confused and dismissed as a forbidden relative of marijuana.

    “Cheers” actor Woody Harrelson grabbed national attention in June 1996 by planting four hemp seeds in Eastern Kentucky on a Lee County farm. His arrest was a stunt to highlight the difference between pot and hemp.

    Both are the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. And they have the same pointy leafs and pungent scent. But hemp has a breadth of uses and a negligible amount of the mind-altering ingredient THC.

    “Cars can run on hemp oil,” the actor wrote in a letter published in Courier Journal after his arrest. “Environmentally friendly detergents, plastics, paints, varnishes, cosmetics and textiles are already being made from it” in Europe.

    Still, U.S. lawmakers would take nearly two decades longer to embrace it.

    A federal law many dub the “2014 Farm Bill” cleared a path for its comeback.

    Now Kentucky is among the nation’s top producers, trailing Colorado.

    Brian Furnish, an eighth-generation tobacco farmer, was among the first in decades to legally plant hemp seeds in Kentucky soil. He grows and promotes hemp as an executive with Ananda Hemp, one of the commonwealth’s largest growers.

    Furnish is not only a grower, he’s a consumer. He says a few drops of CBD oil ease his neck and back pain due to old football injuries and heavy lifting of feed sacks and other strenuous chores.

    Now, he doesn’t work the farm without it.

    ‘I feel great’

    Murphy is among the doctors who first learned about the potential benefits of hemp from their patients.

    Curious, he did some research, reading about CBD oil and even testing it on himself for four days. Although he didn’t need it for pain, he verified it didn’t give him a buzz or any negative side effects.

    He decided to recommend it to 200 patients.

    About 90 percent of the 175 who tried CBD oil spray or pills reported benefits, such as fewer migraines and tension headaches and more tolerable leg and back pain and arthritis, he said. Others had more restful sleep and less anxiety.

    But it’s not for everyone.

    Murphy doesn’t recommend it to patients who are taking blood thinners or who have heart conditions.

    And a small number of his patients opted to stop taking hemp after becoming dizzy. Others didn’t notice any relief from migraines or enough relief from severe pain.

    Those who opted not to try hemp included an elderly patient whose husband wouldn’t let her try anything related to marijuana.

    Dr. Bruce Nicholson, a Pennsylvania pain expert, also recommends hemp to many of his patients.

    Dozens have reduced or stopped taking opioids, he said. Patients reported less trembling from neuropathy and relief from achy muscles. The doctor personally uses hemp several times a week, rubbing a cream on his achy joints.

    “In the medical profession, we knew nothing about it,” said Nicholson, who began reading up on it about three years ago.

    Nicholson estimates that as many as 80 percent of his patients suffering from chronic pain also face anxiety or depression. He said hemp can help that too.

    “Now I recommend it every day to my patients,” he said.

    Ready to try hemp? From beer to bedding, hemp products are easily found at some stores that may surprise you

    Lisa Whitaker, 50, one of Murphy’s patients on disability for migraines and herniated discs, said CBD oil didn’t ease her severe headaches but did help her back pain.

    It took four to six weeks before she noticed significant relief.

    “This has been a lifesaver,” Whitaker said.

    Southern Indiana resident Valerie Reed, 36, said she began a daily regimen of the oil about a year ago after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She didn’t want to take the narcotic her doctor prescribed because of a host of potentially “scary” side effects.

    Within months, she said: “The tremors, shaking, that’s gone.”

    Severe headaches on her right side also eased and she could bear hip pain from walking.

    Reed said she told her neurologist and her general practitioner she was using the hemp product daily. “Both were OK with it.”

    “As long as I take it, I feel great,” she said.

    Riley Cote, a Canadian native known as a bruiser on the ice during his tenure with the National Hockey League, said hemp eases his arthritis and inflammation and helps him relax and fall into a deeper sleep. He has become a hemp activist, starting the Hemp Heals Foundation and encouraging former Philadelphia Flyer teammates and other athletes to use the oil instead of opioids, sleeping pills and muscle relaxers.

    Cote came to Kentucky recently to tour Ananda Hemp’s farm in Harrison County, northeast of Lexington. The company imported hemp seeds from Australia and has expanded its crops to cover 500 acres in Kentucky with plans to keep growing.

    “It’s just gonna get bigger and better,” the retired hockey star said of the hemp industry. “We’ve barely scratched the surface.”

    Where’s the proof?

    It’s easy to find someone who claims using hemp oil with CBD helped them feel better or sleep better.

    But doctors, scientists and others — including the FDA — are eager for clinical proof.

    Some promising research came out in May.

    An article published in the May 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, reported the results of an extensive clinical trial led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky and colleagues. It found that CBD hemp oil lessened the frequency of violent and dangerous seizures in children and young adults with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder with a high rate of death.

    Barry Lambert, an investor in Ananda Hemp’s parent company, Ecofibre, who grew up on a dairy farm in the Australia Bush, wrote a testimonial on how CBD oil saved his granddaughter’s life from debilitating seizures that “tore away at her brain and body every 15 seconds.”

    Can you get high off hemp? We’ll help clear the fog about marijuana’s ‘kissing cousin’

    Research on other potential health benefits is underway across the nation.

    Kentucky is leading the way with 17 studies at seven universities: the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Sullivan University, Western Kentucky, Murray State, Morehead and Kentucky State, said Brent Burchett, head of the state Department of Agriculture’s division of value-added plant production.

    University of Louisville’s research includes evaluating hemp as a fuel source.

    The University of Kentucky is examining the best growing conditions of hemp and plans to study the oil in mice for two years. If they find negative side effects, it could lead the FDA to pull projects from shelves, said Joe Chappell, a professor of drug design and discovery.

    If they don’t find problems, he said it could help clear the way for its mainstream use.

    “There’s a lot of anecdotal information, of course. There can be some relief from pain and inflammation,” he said.

    Chappell hopes to lead testing to answer these questions: “Who is it safe for? For what duration? At what doses?”

    Researchers are in the early stages of verifying hemp’s full potential.

    It’s too soon to know the full scope of how much money the leafy crop can bring farmers, processors and businesses — or how many ways it can benefit pain sufferers.

    ‘Questions and curiosity’

    Consider it the new era of hemp.

    Furnish describes his farming family as “very old style, conservative people” initially leery of hemp.

    But after deciphering fact from fiction surrounding the controversial crop, he has taken a leadership role in the hemp movement.

    “Hemp will keep another eight generations of farmers working the land,” he said.

    Individual states can now pass laws allowing industrial hemp to be grown under a pilot program. The state was among the first to give the go-ahead in 2014, but farmers and processors must gain approval from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

    Seventy-four of the state’s 120 counties are growing and/or processing the diverse plant, according to the agriculture department’s most current figures. That includes Jefferson County, which has 10 growers or processors.

    Hemp has been used in more than 25,000 products, from foods, supplements, textiles, paper to building materials and cosmetics, according to a March report by the Congressional Research Service. It’s even a fiberglass alternative for cars and planes.

    Hemp sales in the United States are at nearly $600 million annually, according to the report.

    “I don’t know of another crop that has that many uses — well more than corn, soy or cotton,” said Duane Sinning, manager of Colorado’s industrial hemp program.

    “The interest is higher” today in growing hemp and using its products, he said. “I think it’ll continue to grow.”

    Many predict the variety of hemp products and use across the state and nation will continue to increase if studies back up the many anecdotal claims of health benefits.

    That could push Congress to ease or remove federal restrictions.

    Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said he’s working with lawmakers to remove hemp from the list of controlled substances.

    “We owe it to farmers to explore all aspects of industrial hemp,” he said, “just like soybeans in the 1960s when they were an experimental crop.”

    Wellness experts at Rainbow Blossom Kentuckiana markets are doing their part to promote hemp products. They co-hosted “hemp week” in June, fielding questions from customers.

    Summer Auerbach, the natural food stores’ second-generation owner, said “people are coming in with a lot of questions and curiosity” about hemp.

    She’s a customer herself, rubbing a hemp salve on her shoulders, neck and jaw before bed. She said the CBD oil in the balm lessens tightness and aches from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, and she awakens with fewer headaches.

    “It’s exciting to see so much of the innovation of hemp in Kentucky,”

    she said. “We’re not even close to seeing what it can do.”


    Burying our heads in the weeds

    LEO Weekly

    By Aaron Yarmuth

    We have a weed crisis in this country.

    Weed needs to be legalized as soon as possible. Nationally, sure. But in Kentucky, a poor state with a pension crisis, there should be no hesitation in mining this (green) gold rush.

    For the first time, real data proves that the weed industry is an emerging economic boon, and its social impacts are not what detractors would like you to believe.

    A recent Washington Post article — real news — revealed the overwhelmingly positive economic impact the marijuana industry has had in Colorado, where weed was legalized and began selling commercially Jan. 1, 2014. According to the state-commissioned study by the Marijuana Policy Group, the industry generated $2.4 billion in economic activity in 2015, including the creation of 18,000 new, full-time jobs.

    To be clear, this does not mean that Coloradans and weed-seeking tourists spent $2.4 billion of their money on weed.

    That figure is the amalgamation of sales, increased demand for local goods and services, warehouse and commercial space and farming/growing equipment, as well as professional services, such as lawyers and accountants. In fact, the retail sale of pot in 2015 was reportedly close to $1 billion.

    Legalization opponents like to demonize users as degenerate addicts wasting their rent money on marijuana. But the other significant finding was that “the legal marijuana industry is not coming from new, previously untapped demand for cannabis, but rather from a reduction of the unregulated black market.”

    This is a tremendously important point because it disproves opponents who argue that America will become one big stoner state if they could get high legally.

    Anecdotally, I’ve always known this to be true. I have friends who smoke, or have smoked in the past — or baked a weed treat. They vary in every way possible: age, race, sex, religion and political party affiliation.

    My friends who don’t smoke aren’t potheads in waiting, either… It’s not that pot is illegal that deters them from getting high. In fact, they could smoke now if they wanted to — so could I, and so could you.

    But I have no interest in smoking weed because I don’t like it. Tried it, didn’t care for it, and decided it’s not for me. But there’s no question I could get it anytime — a phone call away. And that’s the lie about marijuana — people who want it, get it, and people who don’t… don’t.

    A Gallup Poll from a few weeks ago showed that 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana — a record high (no pun intended). It’s bipartisan, too: 72 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans now favor legalization.

    The minority of Americans who remain opposed to this need to understand that this is going on, whether it’s legal or not. The moral objection, as with alcohol and other perceived vices, is perfectly understandable. However, to argue against the medical, economic and social benefits is just plain wrong.

    Further, it would be an entirely different debate if the underground weed economy didn’t already exist. As this study showed, in Colorado close to $1 billion has made its way out of the shadows, off the street corners and into the economy. The idea that it can be stopped is plain wrong, and to think otherwise at this point is willful ignorance.

    Kentucky needs to unearth an economic gold mine now more than ever. At risk are the promised retirements of hundreds of thousands of teachers and other public employees. Their pensions are in peril. The future of our schools is in jeopardy, because if we can’t fulfill the promise to the last generation of teachers, how will we attract the next generation?

    Opponents of weed have a choice: Bring the black-market for marijuana into the system, tax it, regulate it and save teachers’ pensions — resetting the economic trajectory of Kentucky…

    Or, bury your head in the weeds.