Dozens continue push for medical marijuana at state committee’s town hall in Frankfort

Medical marijuana legislation passed in the Kentucky House of Representatives, but died in the Senate earlier this year. However, the push continues for its...
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 11:03 AM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Medical marijuana legislation passed in the Kentucky House of Representatives, but died in the Senate earlier this year. However, the push continues for its legalization in Kentucky.

Governor Beshear’s Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee met in Frankfort Tuesday night. They’re touring the state with town halls and getting input from Kentuckians.

The committee said since they were formed a little more than a month ago, they’ve gotten at least 2,700 emails of support. They also said about 90% of participants at the town halls have been for the measure.

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Tuesday night, dozens lined up to share their stories, their battles, and their beliefs that medical marijuana could be the saving grace for thousands of Kentuckians.

“I’d like to dedicate this to five people,” said Brandon Parish of Shelby County. They were the names of friends that Parish said he’s lost to drug overdoses after getting addicted to opioids.

“Access to that led them down a road that some of us could have been on,” Parish said.

Parish is just one of several people the committee heard from, and some testimonies were often more heartbreaking than the one before.

“I’m here in honor of my daughter, who is no longer with us, and for myself,” one mother said. “I’m a recovering addict and safe access would greatly benefit myself, my daughters and the family that I have. We need safe access for those who choose to not take the medication route because we know how highly addictive it is going to be, and we know how easily addictive it is going to be in our lives.”

They’re stories Julie Cantwell can relate to. Her son suffers from seizures and has to go out of state to get treatment.

“I’m sure that they’re watching, I’m sure the opposition is watching and I’m hoping that they will take something from this. I hope they hear these veterans’ stories, I hope they hear these moms’ stories,” Cantwell said.

They’re hoping to put the pressure on lawmakers to add Kentucky to the growing list of states legalizing medical marijuana.

A poll from CBS news in April showed an overwhelming support for the legalization of medical cannabis. Governor Beshear has said he hopes the legislative branch will listen to Kentuckians, and if not, he’ll explore executive options.

There is one final town hall scheduled for Monday in Hopkinsville.

You can also share feedback online at the Medical Marijuana Committee website.

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