(KY) Magistrates voice support for legalizing medical cannabis

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By Laura Harvey Lead Reporter lharvey@the-messenger.com

Nearly two weeks after Kentucky’s secretary of state announced convening a special task force to propose the legalization of medical cannabis, two Hopkins County magistrates have voiced their support for the action.

Currently, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow their citizens to use marijuana in some form — whether for recreation or medicinal purposes. The majority, including Illinois and Ohio, have legalized cannabis for medical purposes only.

On Nov. 15, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced that she had created a task force to focus on a similar legislative proposal. The group includes members of the state’s medical community, law enforcement, medical marijuana advocates and military veterans.

State Rep. John Sims, of Flemingsburg is currently drafting medical marijuana legislation for the 2018 session. On Tuesday, two members of the Hopkins County Fiscal Court voiced their support for the proposal during a regular meeting.

“I am not talking about the ‘average joe’ smoking pot,” said District One Magistrate Karol Welch. “I am talking about people, medical cannabis and the immediate need for laws in Kentucky to allow true, sick and disabled people to legally use cannabis as an option in treating their illness.”

Welch said 12,000 people in Kentucky, including a relative of hers, live with Parkinson’s disease. The incurable disorder, which affects the central nervous system and movement, progressively causes trembling and stiffening of the extremities while affecting balance and coordination.

Welch said some studies have suggested that medical cannabis can significantly improve Parkinson’s symptoms.

“It reduces muscle spasms and stiffness … and improves sleeping, anxiety and eating,” she said. “It also calms your mind without making you crazy. There are numerous studies that support the medical uses of cannabis.

“There needs to be compassionate, common-sense reform of the laws that will help the genuinely sick, diseased and disabled citizens of the Bluegrass State,” she added. “Those are the people who are going to be using it — the citizens. We need to realize that just because you don’t need it today, doesn’t mean you won’t later have an accident and be begging for it tomorrow.”

District Four Magistrate Jack Whitfield Jr. said he agreed with the proposal.

“Five years ago, I was completely against it,” he said. “But I have a twin sister with multiple sclerosis. Four years ago, we were just talking at Thanksgiving and she — my twin, my age — just fell. I mean, she hit the floor and I broke down crying.

“But now I have looked at the statistics,” he added. “(Marijuana) is here already, but I think it will be much better and safer if it were legal.”

While proposed legislation is already scheduled for discussion next year, Welch said she was confident a law governing cannabis use would be passed relatively soon.

“I think it is going to happen,” she said. “I don’t think it is going to take 20 years like some people think it will.”

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(KY) "Medical marijuana is what’s achievable and it’s what can help the most people the most quickly,"

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — Medicinal marijuana is already legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and a group of Kentuckians is hoping to add the Bluegrass State to the list.

“Medical marijuana is what’s achievable and it’s what can help the most people the most quickly,” Mike Ward said.

Among those advocating for the legalization of medicinal marijuana is former Congressman Mike Ward, now the president and CEO of Legalize Kentucky Now. For him, the fight to give patients alternative treatments is personal, having seen how it helped his younger brother who died of AIDS in the ’90s.

“The staff looked the other way as he smoked marijuana in the bathroom of his hospital room because they knew it helped him have an appetite and keep food down while he was undergoing treatment,” he said.

“When you look at medical marijuana as a way to provide relief to people with serious illnesses and a way to avoid the prescription pain epidemic that’s been sweeping across our country, I think you’re seeing momentum build for it and people become more comfortable with the idea of passing responsible legislation,” State Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D.-District 19, said.

McGarvey is preparing for the upcoming legislative session in Frankfort, which is set to reconvene on Jan. 2. He said he is ready to introduce a piece of legislation legalizing medicinal marijuana – the fourth time he’s brought up this type of legislation.

“I think there are safeguards in place as long as we craft responsible medical marijuana legislation, which fortunately 29 other states have done and we have templates to use now,” he said.

Kentucky Secy. of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, has also joined the conversation, announcing Wednesday the formation of a task force headed by herself and State Rep. John Sims. “2018 is and must be the year when Kentucky finally steps up on medical marijuana. We have to get this done to help Kentuckians who are hurting,” she said in a statement.

While Gov. Matt Bevin, R.-Kentucky, and Senate President Robert Stivers, R.-District 25, have come out against legalizing recreational marijuana, and critics have argued there is not enough known about the lasting, long-term impacts of marijuana, McGarvey and Ward said it is something that the people of Kentucky want.

“Anybody running for office – Republican, Democrat, state representatives, state senators – will find if they ask in their districts that it is wildly popular,” Ward said.

Both Ward and McGarvey also tell WHAS11 they support legalizing recreational marijuana as well as a tool to fix the state’s pension crisis, but with Bevin taking a firm stance against any legislation attempting to do so, they said their priority right now is on legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

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Kentucky must legalize medical marijuana in 2018, secretary of state says

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Thomas Novelly, Louisville Courier Journal

Could legal medical marijuana be on the horizon in Kentucky?

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Wednesday she wants to legalize medical marijuana in the Bluegrass State by 2018.

A task force, led by Grimes, will also study and propose potential implementation and regulation processes.

In a statement, Grimes said, “2018 is and must be the year when Kentucky finally steps up on medical marijuana. We have to get this done to help Kentuckians who are hurting.”

Judge to medical marijuana users: Talk to lawmakers about legalization, not me

State Rep. John Sims, D- Flemingsburg, will co-chair a task force alongside Grimes the statement said.

“Kentucky is getting left behind on this issue. Already 29 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana legislation to help their people,” Sims said in the announcement. “The research is done. The studies have been conducted. It works, and it’s time we end our idling and start having conversations to bring medical marijuana to the Commonwealth.”

Sims said evidence exists showing marijuana combats a large number of side effects for cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Marijuana expert: Matt Bevin exaggerates pot’s effects

Read this: Infamous marijuana grower is no angel, but he’s beloved in central Kentucky

Grimes announcement, however, breaks with Gov. Matt Bevin’s views on marijuana.

Recently, Bevin said he rejected any idea of legalizing marijuana in Kentucky to help the state raise money as it deals with billions of dollars’ in pension debt. He did say he could be open to legalizing medical marijuana if it was properly regulated.

“There is no way, when I am governor, that I will ever legalize recreational marijuana in Kentucky,” Bevin said. “It’s just not going to happen.”

A spokesman from Bevin’s office did not immediately return a request for comment regarding Grimes’ new task force.

Reach Reporter Thomas Novelly at 502-582-4465 or by email at tnovelly@courier-journal.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

Read this: In some states, pot farmers get a free pass. In Kentucky, Cornbread Mafia leader faces prison

Lawsuit: Trio of Kentuckians challenge the state’s medical marijuana ban in court

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“We strongly urge the Department of Veteran Affairs and Kentucky Assembly to actively support passage of a strong comprehensive medical cannabis bill as soon as possible…”

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Thomas Tony Vance added 2 new photos.

8 mins ·

On this Veterans Day

I would like to strongly urge the both the Veterans Administration and the Kentucky State Assembly, that with an estimated 750,000 cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, among the Veteran population, they should seriously consider Veteran access to cannabis.

Veteran’s organizations are recognizing the effectiveness of cannabis in treating this condition. The American Legion has two resolutions favoring Veteran access to medical cannabis.

A worrisome component of Veteran Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with chronic pain is the constant, ever hovering specter of addiction and suicide among the Veteran population. The suicide rate sometimes reported to be as much as 22 a day, may seem a high estimate but a suicide day is 30 a month and one a day too much.

When considering the high rates of drug addiction and suicide among the Veteran population one must also consider the following reports. A recent Journal of the American Medical Association report of a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical marijuana laws and a Cato Institute report from January of 2015 citing a 5% drop in suicides in states having medical marijuana laws. We would expect to see a similar drop in Veteran addiction overdose deaths and suicides should Congress or the Kentucky Assembly pass a Medical cannabis law. Veterans have long recognized the beneficial effects of medical cannabis and Veterans in medical cannabis states report great success when using medical cannabis for PTSD, chronic pain and a number of other conditions for which cannabis is effective.

We strongly urge the Department of Veteran Affairs and Kentucky Assembly to actively support passage of a strong comprehensive medical cannabis bill as soon as possible. The welfare of our Veterans, indeed, their lives are depending on it!

SOURCE

This meeting was not supposed to known to the public… “Frankfort, Anti-Marijuana Discussion”

I have been informed of these meetings taking place in Frankfort, Kentucky, this Thursday, October 12, 2017 @ 1:00pm.  I am posting the information here!  Please follow links to obtain more information!

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***Attention mark your calendars for this Thursday’s Anti Marijuana Discussion***

Should KY Veterans, or Public Protection Officers (Fire Fighters, Police, EMT) be criminals for trying to find a better quality of life?
Come show support for KY patient’s safe access to cannabis.
Thursday October 12, 2017 @ 1:00 P.M.
Capital Annex Room 154 (702 Capital Ave., Frankfort 40601)
Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee

— in Kentucky State Capitol.

*****************************************************************

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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10:00 am, Annex Room 131

PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE

Agenda: Potential Legal Action Against Drug Industry for Contributing to Opioid Abuse in Kentucky; Purdue Pharma Settlement • Attorney General Andy Beshear Presentation of staff report Kentucky’s Foster Care System Responses by • Adria Johnson, Commissioner • Elizabeth Caywood, Executive Advisor, Department for Community Based Services • Kelly Stephens, Manager Court Services, Administrative Office of the Courts Available for questions • Officials from Personnel Cabinet

Members: Sen. Danny Carroll (Co-Chair), Rep. Lynn Bechler (Co-Chair), Sen. Tom Buford, Sen. Perry B. Clark, Sen. Wil Schroder, Sen. Dan “Malano” Seum, Sen. Reginald Thomas, Sen. Stephen West, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, Rep. Chris Fugate, Rep. Brian Linder, Rep. Donna Mayfield, Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, Rep. Rob Rothenburger, Rep. Arnold Simpson, Rep. Walker Thomas

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1:00 pm, Annex Room 154

INTERIM JOINT COMMITTEE ON VETERANS, MILITARY AFFAIRS, AND PUBLIC PROTECTION

Agenda: Pledge of Allegiance Distinguished Veteran Marijuana and Public Safety • Richard W. Sanders, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police • Van Ingram, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Staff • Ed Shemelya, Director, National Marijuana Initiative • Tony Coder, Director, State and Local Affairs, Smart Approaches to Marijuana School and Campus Safety • Alex Payne, Deputy Commissioner, Kentucky State Police • Mark Filburn, Commissioner, Department of Criminal Justice Training

Members: Sen. Albert Robinson (Co-Chair), Rep. Tim Moore (Co-Chair), Sen. Julian M. Carroll, Sen. Perry B. Clark, Sen. C.B. Embry, Sen. Denise Harper Angel, Sen. Ernie Harris, Sen. Jimmy Higdon, Sen. Stan Humphries, Sen. Dennis Parrett, Sen. Wil Schroder, Sen. Dan “Malano” Seum, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, Sen. Mike Wilson, Sen. Max Wise, Rep. Robert Benvenuti , Rep. Tom Burch, Rep. Will Coursey, Rep. Jeffery Donohue, Rep. Myron Dossett, Rep. Jim DuPlessis, Rep. Chris Fugate, Rep. Jeff Greer, Rep. Chris Harris, Rep. Mark Hart, Rep. Regina Huff, Rep. Dan Johnson, Rep. DJ Johnson, Rep. Donna Mayfield, Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, Rep. Brandon Reed, Rep. Rob Rothenburger, Rep. Dean Schamore, Rep. Walker Thomas

SOURCE LINK

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislativecalendarv2/sp_bss_calendar_/index

https://www.facebook.com/KY4MM/posts/1461959113839300

https://www.facebook.com/jaime.montalvo.3110?fref=ufi&rc=p

https://www.facebook.com/amy.stalk.3?fref=ufi&rc=p

(KY) “…the state has a good reason to "curtail citizens’ possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug."

Homegrown2017

Kentucky judge dismisses challenge of medical marijuana ban

  • By adam beam, associated press

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Sep 20, 2017, 4:57 PM ET

Kentucky’s ban on medical marijuana has survived an initial test in court, with a judge ruling Wednesday that the state has a good reason to “curtail citizens’ possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug.”

Twenty-nine other states have legalized marijuana in some way, the most common being for medical purposes. While Kentucky lawmakers have embraced hemp — the fibers of the plant that are used to make rope, clothing and other products — and other uses for the cannabis plant, they have failed to consider a number of proposals that would let people use marijuana as medicine.

Frustrated, three people sued the governor and the attorney general earlier this year and asked a judge to throw out the ban because “denying sick people safe medicine” is unjust.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate rejected that argument, ruling the state had good reason to ban the use of marijuana. He also said the state legislature has “discretion to regulate what is harmful to the public health and wellbeing.” He told the plaintiffs their only option was to persuade the state legislature to lift the ban.

“The Bevin Administration applauds Judge Wingate’s decision to follow the law and dismiss this lawsuit,” said Woody Maglinger, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. “Any change to Kentucky law should go through the legislative process.”

The people who filed the lawsuit could appeal the ruling. Their attorney, Dan Canon, said they have not made a decision yet.

“We respect the court’s decision, but we strongly disagree with it,” Canon wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “Our clients have said all along that they want the government to stop intruding into the relationship between them and their physicians.”

The plaintiffs all say they use marijuana as medicine. Amy Stalker said she used marijuana with a prescription while living in Colorado and Washington state to treat irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She said she has struggled to maintain her health since moving to Kentucky to care for her mother.

Danny Belcher says he uses marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his service in the Vietnam War. And Dan Seum Jr., son of Republican state Sen. Dan Seum, said he uses marijuana to ease pain from his inoperable spinal problems.

Seum Jr. said doctors prescribed him Oxycontin, an opioid-based painkiller that is highly addictive and had led to a surge of overdose deaths in the state.

“I don’t want to be addicted to those type drugs,” Seum Jr. said. “Although cannabis, it doesn’t take (the pain) away completely; it allows me to function a little more. I can function and still not be addicted.”

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2017 Kentucky Marijuana Legalization Vote: Key Dates To Watch

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Above:  Unfortunately the above picture was not taken in Kentucky!

 

Have you been trying to follow Kentucky marijuana legalization news online and find you cannot figure out if it is legalized or if the bill died in the Kentucky State Senate?

Current Kentucky medical marijuana laws were introduced in late 2016 by Kentucky state senator, Perry Clark. This particular senator has introduced similar laws in the past, but the one that was due to be voted on in 2017 by Kentucky state lawmakers is called The Cannabis Compassion Act, and it was filed as BR409.

While there were plenty of fans that were excited about this news in early 2017, after the bills for Kentucky legal marijuana were filed, no one seemed to know when anything was going to happen next. It was not really clear to many Kentuckians if lawmakers had denied or confirmed a bill to legalize marijuana.

Worse, the Kentucky State Senate closed their main legislative session on March 31, and there was no news about where the legal marijuana bill was going. In order to get a few facts straight, some careful online sleuthing was done to get all of the right information in the right place.

Medical marijuana touted by supporters to Trump.Protesters organized in January to tell Donald Trump they wanted support for medical marijuana. [Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kentucky did not pass medical marijuana in early 2017. The confusion was caused when several articles were published in February that quoted a news source that had misinformation on the topic.

Instead, the bill to pass medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky is actually two different bills. The names of these bills are SB76 and SB57.

When information is reviewed about Kentucky’s medical marijuana bills that are being proposed in 2017, it shows on the SB76 and SB57 websites that they have been “assigned” to various committees for review — and are therefore still in progress.

SB57 is currently assigned to Health and Welfare, while SB76 is with Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations.

Regardless, what these pages do not clearly indicate is whether or not these bills are still being considered, when they will be considered, or when they will be voted on.

Thankfully, by cross-referencing with the 2017 interim calendar for the Kentucky State Senate, there is helpful information about approximate dates to expect Kentucky marijuana legalization news.

Rand Paul Kentucky is pro-marijuana.Kentucky U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, is pro-marijuana legalization, but he is not a voting member for the Kentucky State Senate. [Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

As far as SB76 goes, Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations will meet the second Friday of each month between June and October. In November, Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations will meet on the 17th.

For SB57, Health and Welfare meet the third Wednesday of each month during the June-November Kentucky State Senate interim calendar.

With the basic information needed to target key dates to listen out for the legalization of marijuana in Kentucky, the next question is whether or not the state senators will actually vote for it.

Although there have been many supporters of the medical marijuana bill in Kentucky, there have also been a few opponents.

For example, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, they reported that a retired Kentucky state trooper, Ed Shemelya, is the director of the National Marijuana Initiative, according to WXOW. In La Crosse, Shemelya is educating attendants of his talks about how “marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs due to what we do not yet know about its effects.”

As an anti-weed advocate, Ed Shemelya has also visited Glasgow, Kentucky, with a similar message.

This time, instead of children, Glasgow Daily Times stated that Shemelya’s audience for his anti-marijuana message was comprised of “law enforcement officials, and others ranged from health educators to youth service and family resource center coordinators.”

Countering anti-weed messages like Ed Shemelya’s are multiple medical marijuana town hall meetings that have been scheduled throughout Kentucky.

According to WSAZ, Justin Lewandoski, a member of the town hall in Paintsville, Kentucky, says the medical marijuana meeting planned for April 20 was meant to educate people by letting people speak about their “experiences with medical marijuana and the relief it provided them.”

While Kentucky is still in the process of potentially voting for medical marijuana, the state continues to prosecute buyers, growers, and distributors. Naturally, keeping marijuana illegal means that budget-strapped Kentucky must pay law enforcement and jails for marijuana arrests.

In addition to the arrests of marijuana growers that know they have THC in their crops, WKYT says that authorities are so overzealous about the illegality of marijuana in Kentucky that they recently burned a crop of commercial hemp because it allegedly had “too much THC.”

Not having legal marijuana in Kentucky also means that the state is targeted for trafficking from outsiders. For example, WKMS reports on April 19 that Kentucky state police arrested a man from Washington state that was trafficking 75-pounds of marijuana through Lyon County.

Kentucky also continues to prosecute marijuana grower John Robert “Johnny” Boone, allegedly the “Godfather” of the Cornbread Mafia. After eluding authorities for almost 10 years, John Boone was finally isolated and captured in 2017.

When John Boone was arrested and convicted in 1988, he went to jail for a decade for having one of the biggest marijuana growing syndicates of all time that had farming operations in almost 30 states, according to U.S. News & World Report.

About the reasons he grew marijuana, John Boone stated the following in federal court when he was sentenced in the late 1980s.

“With the poverty at home [in Kentucky], marijuana is sometimes one of the things that puts bread on the table. We were working with our hands on earth God gave us.”

Updates on Kentucky’s medical marijuana bills can be followed on Legiscan.

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