Beshear announces action on medical marijuana in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear has announced he is taking action on the marijuana issue in Kentucky.
The effort for a medical marijuana bill once again failed in Kentucky during the 2022 session of the General Assembly. The bill passed the House but wasn’t taken up by the Senate.
Senate President Robert Stivers said some lawmakers wanted to see more research on the matter.
More Americans want marijuana legalized in their states.
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Although the legislative session is over, Governor Beshear says the fight to legalize medical marijuana continues.
During his Team Kentucky Update on Thursday, Gov. Beshear announced he is taking steps toward moving the medical marijuana conversation forward in the commonwealth.
He told reporters his drive to legalize medical marijuana is not about politics, but his desire to do what he feels is right.
“If you meet a parent who can’t stop their child from having seizures, but they’ve been to another state and this works, they ought to have that opportunity to help that child,” Gov. Beshear said.
The governor says his legal is looking into his executive action options. He says he’s setting up a cannabis advisory team that will travel the state to talk with Kentuckians about medical marijuana.
Gov. Beshear says an email is also being set up so Kentuckians can reach out to his office about the issue. That email is: GovMedicalCannabisAdvisoryTeam@ky.gov
Beshear says his administration will spend the next two months working through his medical marijuana plan.
Even though Gov. Beshear supports medical marijuana, he stopped short of expressing support for recreational marijuana. He noted, however, that lawmakers should do more to decriminalize marijuana possession.
Stivers released this statement Thursday evening:
“The public should be concerned with a governor who thinks he can change statute by executive order. He simply can’t legalize medical marijuana by executive order; you can’t supersede a statue by executive order because it’s a Constitutional separation of powers violation.
The General Assembly has initiated an effort to conduct additional research on medical marijuana through the passage of HB 604 during this past legislative session. HB 604 establishes the Kentucky Center for Cannabis Research at the University of Kentucky to research the efficacy of medical cannabis. The Governor may speak in favor of medical marijuana, but he still has not signed HB 604 that has been sitting on his desk since April 14.
Cannabis remains a Schedule I drug and substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. KRS 218A.020 is clear that our Commonwealth incorporates the federal Controlled Substances Act scheduling structure into our state laws and further prohibits the Cabinet for Health and Family Services from rescheduling any controlled substance to a less restrictive numerical schedule as provided under federal law.
The governor indicated previously he intends to tax marijuana; we don’t tax medicine in Kentucky. If our governor truly believes marijuana should be used for medicinal purposes, taxing it would be wholly inappropriate.”
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