(KY) GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR GET SUED OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

BECAUSE THIS STORY IS SO IMPORTANT IN KENTUCKY I HAVE INCLUDED TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE VIDEO BELOW TO HEAR THE PRESS CONFERENCE WHICH WAS AIRED ON WLKY.

THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED TODAY, JUNE 14TH, 2017, IN JEFFERSON COUNTY KENTUCKY AGAINST GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR BY DANNY BELCHER OF BATH COUNTY, AMY STALKER OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, AND DAN SEUM JR OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.

ky mj lawsuit

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FACEBOOK – WLKY PRESS CONFERENCE WITH COMMENTS

Mark Vanderhoff Reporter

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Three people are suing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear over Kentucky’s marijuana laws, claiming their rights are being violated by not being able to use or possess medicinal marijuana.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Jefferson Circuit Court, was filed on behalf of Danny Belcher of Bath County, Amy Stalker of Louisville and Dan Seum Jr., son of state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale.

Seum turned to marijuana after being prescribed opioid painkillers to manage back pain.

“I don’t want to go through what I went through coming off that Oxycontin and I can’t function on it,” he said. “If I consume cannabis, I can at least function and have a little quality of life.”

The plaintiffs spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Seum does not believe the state can legally justify outlawing medical marijuana while at the same time allowing doctors to prescribe powerful and highly addictive opioids, which have created a statewide and national epidemic of abuse.

That legal justification lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge, which claims Kentucky is violating its own constitution.

The lawsuit claims the prohibition violates section two of the Kentucky Constitution, which denies “arbitrary power,” and claims the courts have interpreted that to mean a law can’t be unreasonable.

“It’s difficult to make a comparison between medical cannabis and opioids that are routine prescribed to people all over the commonwealth, all over the country, and say that there’s some sort of rational basis for the prohibition on cannabis as medicine when we know how well it works,” said Dan Canon, who along with attorney Candace Curtis is representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also claims Kentucky’s law violates the plaintiffs’ right to privacy, also guaranteed under the state constitution.

Spokespeople for Gov. Bevin and Beshear say their offices are in the process of reviewing the lawsuit.

In a February interview on NewsRadio 840 WHAS, Bevin said the following in response to a question about whether he supports medical marijuana:

“The devil’s in the details. I am not opposed to the idea medical marijuana, if prescribed like other drugs, if administered in the same way we would other pharmaceutical drugs. I think it would be appropriate in many respects. It has absolute medicinal value. Again, it’s a function of its making its way to me. I don’t do that executively. It would have to be a bill.”  CONTINUE READING…

Lawsuit challenges Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

By Bruce Schreiner | AP June 14 at 6:38 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers.

The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator.

Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother.

“She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. “That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional.”

Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: “I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard.” CONTINUE READING…

2015 Federal Funding Law is a Win for Kentucky

“$175, 465 million for National Guard Counter-Drug Operations, including support for the Kentucky National Guard to eradicate marijuana from the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Kentucky State Police reported nearly a half million plants were eradicated in Kentucky last year.”

 

Press Releases

2015 Federal Funding Law is a Win for Kentucky

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Washington, D.C. , Dec 17, 2014 | Danielle Smoot (606-679-8346) | 0 comments

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) praised members of the U.S. Congress for passing the consolidated federal funding bill for fiscal year 2015, to avoid a government shutdown, rein in government overreach, and fund most government agencies through September 30, 2015. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers worked tirelessly to ensure the legislation was a win for Kentucky. President Obama signed the Omnibus bill into law on Tuesday, December 16.

“This law includes funding for important programs that are priorities for communities in southern and eastern Kentucky,” said Rogers. “For example, the legislation provides specific economic development assistance for coal mining communities, funds much-needed rural housing loans, and supports a number of initiatives to fight the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. It also decreases the backlog of military veterans’ claims and reins in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Let me be clear: this law does not include any new funding for the President’s Executive Amnesty plan. We will address his amnesty plan with the new Congress in 2015.”
Additional items to note in the law that will benefit Southern and Eastern Kentuckians:

Drug Abuse
The legislation supports a holistic, multifaceted approach to the scourge of prescription drug abuse, including funding for our federal law enforcement officers on the front lines, critical drug abuse treatment programs, and educational efforts to help states implement model drug laws that reduce diversion and abuse.
$20 million is provided for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to partner with the states hardest hit by the prescription drug epidemic in developing and implementing strategies to combat addictions and abuse.
It includes the following funding for treatment, law enforcement, education and other drug-related issues: 

Treatment

  • $91 million for Drug Courts, plus an additional $1.4 million for technical training for the judges who administer these important courts
  • $5 million for Veterans Treatment Courts to meet the unique needs of those who have bravely served in the U.S. Armed Forces

Law Enforcement

  • $367 million for DEA’s diversion control program, with encouragement to intensify support for its Distributor Initiative
  • $7 million for an anti-meth task force, plus $7 million to help state and local law enforcement agencies clean up meth labs
  • $7 million for an anti-heroin task force
  • $175, 465 million for National Guard Counter-Drug Operations, including support for the Kentucky National Guard to eradicate marijuana from the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Kentucky State Police reported nearly a half million plants were eradicated in Kentucky last year.
  • $245 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). The Appalachian HIDTA, covering parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, has been a national leader in the fight against prescription drug abuse. In partnership with Operation UNITE, AHIDTA recently launched a pilot voluntary program in southern and eastern Kentucky to distribute free oral drug testing kits for parents who suspect their children are abusing drugs at home.

Education

  • $1.25 million to help states develop and implement legislation to reduce drug abuse. 

Other
The legislation includes a number of other provisions aimed at spurring federal action to reduce the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs. For example, the legislation: 

  • expresses opposition to the approval of the powerful painkiller, Zohydro, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and requires the agency to report to Congress on its ability to track usage of the drug once it is on the market,
  • encourages the FDA to finalize guidance on Abuse Deterrent Formulations in order to incentivize innovation in this emerging field for manufacturing prescription narcotics, and
  • encourages the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) prescription drug take-back program. 

Coal
The legislation demonstrates the Congress’ commitment to reining in the EPA and beating back the Administration’s devastating anti-coal policies. 

  • It cuts EPA funding by $60 million below the 2014 level, causing the agency to reduce its staffing to the lowest level since 1989.
  • The Obama Administration is prevented from moving forward with a policy that would preclude U.S. investments in coal-fired generation plants overseas. By putting a halt to this regulation, the legislation ensures that U.S. coal will have a vibrant market in emerging economies around the world.
  • It prevents the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from changing the definition of “fill material,” which would be harmful to several U.S. industries, including the coal mining industry.
  • The bill rejects a proposal from President Obama to spend $66 million on new or expanded job-killing regulatory programs at the EPA.
  • $571 million is included for Fossil Energy Research to ensure that the U.S. is developing in the necessary technology to maintain coal as a part of its energy portfolio for the long term.
  • It directs the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to submit monthly status reports on any Section 404 mining permit applications under review. These monthly reports will allow the House Appropriations Committee to oversee how many mining permit applications have been submitted, the number of days under review, and whether they are being approved.
  • The law maintains Office of Surface Mining State regulatory grants at $68 million to allow states to implement programs without increasing fees on the mining industry. It also rejects the President’s proposal to hire more Federal regulators to increase Federal oversight inspections of State programs.
  • The law prevents the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from regulating certain agricultural areas, including farm ponds and irrigation ditches, under the Clean Water Act.

Economic and Community Development
The legislation includes funding for a number of federal programs that support the efforts of southern and eastern Kentucky communities to create new opportunities through access to pre-school and post-secondary education, access to low-income housing opportunities, and supports grants for important programs in the region. It includes:
Support for Economic Development

  • $10 million for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to develop a comprehensive strategy to assist coal mining communities
  • $90 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), including $10 million for broadband development in distressed Central Appalachian counties
  • $2.5 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make micro-loans in small and rural communities to create new job opportunities
  • $230 million to help Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) build their capacity to serve low-income individuals and communities that otherwise lack access to affordable financial products and services
  • $3 million for the HubZone Program, which helps small businesses in rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities
  • $3.4 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to keep families safe and healthy through initiatives supporting energy assistance
  • $674 million for Community Services Block Grants, which help the region’s Community Action Agencies further their mission to provide critical services
  • $372 million for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), a program that provides funds to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their jurisdictions
  • $12.7 million for a competitive grant program to provide technical assistance for improved water quality or safe drinking water in rural communities

Support for Rural Housing

  • $900 million for Section 502 Direct Loans, which helps low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas
  • $27.5 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Section 523 Self-Home program, which helps very low-income families construct their own affordable homes
  • $900 million for the HOME program, which provides formula grants to states and localities that can be used to build, buy and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or home ownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people
  • A flat-rent provision was also included, allowing local market factors to be considered when flat-rent rates are determined. This will keep rental rates low for many of Kentucky’s Fifth District Residents.

Support for Education Programs    

  • $839 million for TRIO programs, which serves and assists low-income individuals and first-generation college students as they progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to college.
  • $301 million for Gear Up Programs, which are designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. 
  • $8.5 billion for Head Start, which provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income families.
  • The law reinstates student aid eligibility for students enrolled in career pathways programs.
  • It provides an opportunity for laid off coal miners and other individuals that do not have a high school diploma or the equivalent to receive federal financial aid, if enrolled in an eligible career pathways program.

    Veterans

    • Directs the DoD and VA to develop an interoperable health records management system, allowing agencies within each Department to be able to communicate regarding patient services and records. 
    • Funds VA medical services at $45.2 billion, including funding for mental health services, suicide prevention and treatment for homeless veterans
    • Includes $2.5 billion for processing the disability claims backlog at the VA
    • Provides $5 million to the VA Office of the Inspector General for the purpose of addressing the VA “wait list” scandal and continue auditing the VA hospital appointment scheduling process and lapses in patient care

    Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter @RepHalRogers or on Facebook @CongressmanHalRogers.  

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    Tags: Homeland Security and National Defense, Education, Illegal Drugs, Economic Development and Job Creation, Wayne County, McCreary County, Pulaski County, Whitley County, Laurel County, Rockcastle County, Knox County, Jackson County, Bell County, Clay County, Harlan County, Leslie County, Owsley County, Lee County, Breathitt County, Perry County , Wolfe County, Knott County, Letcher County, Menifee County, Morgan County, Magoffin County, Floyd County, Rowan County, Lawrence County, Martin County, Pike County, Johnson County, Bath County, Veterans, Boyd County, Carter County, Elliott County, Lincoln County

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