These marijuana cases will no longer be prosecuted by the Jefferson County (KY) attorney

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Joe Sonka, Louisville Courier Journal Published 9:15 a.m. ET Aug. 28, 2019

Possession of a small amount of marijuana will no longer be prosecuted in Jefferson County when that is the only or primary charge, the county attorney’s office will announce Wednesday.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is expected to detail the new strategy at a 10 a.m. news conference, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The policy will call for his office to no longer prosecute possession of marijuana cases involving one ounce or less, so long as that is the only charge or the most serious charge against the defendant.

The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office also will decline to prosecute cases involving possession of drug paraphernalia when that is clearly only used for marijuana consumption.

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However, the new policy will not affect marijuana cases involving trafficking, cultivation, driving under the influence, public consumption or intoxication.

O’Connell is expected defend the policy as a means to find the most efficient use of his office’s limited resources and work toward equal enforcement of laws along racial lines, citing statistics showing that black individuals are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession compared to white individuals.

A Courier Journal investigation of 21,607 marijuana possession cases in 2017 found that African Americans accounted for two-thirds of those charged, with black drivers cited for possession at six times the rate of white people.

This disparity on marijuana charges along racial lines occurs despite national studies showing that both groups smoke marijuana at roughly the same rate.

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In June, Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance by a 15-9 vote making arrests for possession of half an ounce or less of marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority for officers.

Kentucky statutes classify marijuana possession as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail and a $250 fine, though a law passed in 2012 allows individuals to have such charges voided from their record after 60 days.

This story will be updated.

CONTINUE READING…

"There’s not a chance that I would sign a legalization of recreational marijuana," he said.

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Actively, since 2012, the State of Kentucky has had various Cannabis Bills in the Legislature.  Before that we had Gatewood Galbraith in all of his glory, who tried, unsuccessfully through a number of elections to help turn this State around.  Unfortunately most of the people who would have voted for him didn’t have voting rights in Kentucky and the ones who did voted for their own pockets.

The Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act went absolutely nowhere in 2012 after his death.

There has only been one Cannabis related medicine that has been approved via    Kentucky Legislature, and that was  when SB 124 was signed by the Governor in 2014. 

Legislators did make an effort to help some seriously ill patients who could benefit from cannabidiol (“CBD,” a non-psychoactive component of marijuana). On Thursday, April 10, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law a proposal that is intended to allow patients to use CBD if directed to do so by a physician.  LINK

Many Kentucky Citizens, Patients, Parents, Students, Veterans and others have spent countless travel hours, time at the State Capitol and expense dollars to try to talk their way into getting the Senators, Representatives and the Governor to give them some legal relief.  Some little bit of understanding and compassion that they could latch onto for hope.  But it never comes.

There have been a few Senators and Representatives that have stepped up and did their part, and then some, when they filed Bills that should have received much more attention than they did in Frankfort.

Today, an article was published on Kentucky.Com that reiterated Gov. Matt Bevins stance on adult use Cannabis.

“There’s not a chance that I would sign a legalization of recreational marijuana,” he said.

However, he also pointed out that he believes that “There is incredible medicinal value associated with cannabis,”  as he spoke candidly about the loss of his teenage Nephew to Cancer.  He even became emotional about the subject…just in time for the upcoming Election this year in Kentucky, where he will once again make promises he does not intend to keep – at least in my opinion.

In Gov. Bevin’s State of the Commonwealth address he made no mention of Cannabis, neither medical or otherwise.  However, in the Kentucky Chamber Day Dinner in January he did express his views on medical marijuana.  According to what he said he leans toward a very narrow and strict medical marijuana law if any, and definitely not a pro-recreational or adult use legalization.  

So rather than to take the Bull by the horns and legalize it into a regulated commodity that everyone would buy and agree to let it be controlled by the Government, just as long as they could get some of it for themselves, the Governor chooses to stand firm, like a Bull, and deny any type of adult use legalization and as well hasn’t approved any kind of medicinal marijuana either with the exception of the CBD bill.  I’m not sure how to take that because you would think that the Government would be all about control of the masses through legalization, however, in this case at least, they choose to just flat out deny us.  Period.  Even though the people are begging to be regulated!

The black market will continue to thrive in Kentucky so long as this commodity goes unregulated in the open market.

At this point in time, my personal favorite is SB 82, Sponsored by Jimmy Higdon,  it is a decriminalization Bill which asks to make personal possession a pre-payable non-criminal fine. It applies to everyone living in the State.  It would be easily implemented.  It is a starting point – although we shouldn’t still be at the “starting point”.

Kentucky is mastering hemp farming and we should be mastering medical and adult use marijuana as well. 

I would prefer to have seen a repeal on Cannabis prohibition at the Federal level before now – but it hasn’t happened yet and States DO have rights.

I could learn to live with the medical marijuana initiative if it were passed with the best of intentions for all people and patients in this State.  But I cannot see that happening at least in the short term.  It could take years to organize an operational program of that magnitude and intense oversight.  Where are the people who will manage and work these establishments going to come from?  We cannot even get enough nurses and clerical workers here fast enough.

Unfortunately for us, it isn’t just about marijuana anymore!

There are a number of other issues in Kentucky which deserve our attention as well.

*Homelessness.

*Severe drug abuse issues such as heroin.

* Women’s abortion rights.

*Teacher Pensions.

*Water access and purification.

*Healthcare and access to appropriate pain management.

*Unlicensed concealed carry.

*Human trafficking and child abuse.

The list goes on and on.

Kentucky has been a mecca for marijuana for 100 years – just go ahead and legalize it and tax the recreational use and put that money toward more important issues.  Everybody already uses Cannabis in Kentucky anyway so why pretend that you can stop it?

Pass both the medical Cannabis, recreational, AND the decrim bill.  All avenues will be covered in that the decrim will pick up and give a little relief while we wait implementation of the recreational and medical bills. 

People all over the U.S. need some relief and hope.  Especially in Kentucky.

@Gov. Matt Bevin, show us what you are really made of!

smk

2.15.19

https://www.kentucky.com/living/health-and-medicine/article226164860.html?fbclid=IwAR3NnqxYDc382Ur0DfVLA6jNq6V8EsSMXHeFtLh85AnddzSFQVCSKOM_tmQ

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2019/01/09/kentucky-marijuana-bills-2019/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/in-remembrance-of/gatewood-galbraith-medical-marijuana-memorial-act/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqhB30dIhhE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fThY9F8hUM

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/timeline-ky-mj-bills/

https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article44476206.html

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/timeline-ky-mj-bills/

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/recorddocuments/bill/19RS/HB136/bill.pdf

https://legiscan.com/KY/text/SB82/id/1845842

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/02/15/517957.htm