Glasgow veteran hopes to see legislature pass medical cannabis bill this session

While the future of medicinal marijuana and easy access remains unclear, Brennan Morgan says perhaps the uncertainty is the hardest part.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 4:31 PM CST
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GLASGOW/FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Kentucky’s legislative session resumes Tuesday and many are watching to see if lawmakers vote on the medical cannabis bill.

“Veterans are wanting this. And it’s not only us,” said veteran Brennan Morgan.

Morgan is a Glasgow resident who served in the Marines for six years and spent three years in Japan working in IT security. Now, he is a part of various veteran organizations where many members agree medical marijuana is a great alternative for treating PTSD and other war-related trauma and ailments.

“Research shows are some of the top things that medical marijuana can help with. Unfortunately, in the state of Kentucky, you know, we don’t have that option yet,” Morgan said.

Morgan said along with the economic benefits of legalizing medical marijuana, it could also keep veterans here closer to home.

“In California especially, you’ll see a lot of military veterans that stay there simply because that treatment is available there,” said Morgan.

The Kentucky House has passed bills regarding medical marijuana in the past, but it has stalled in the Senate.

“I really think that now’s the time for Kentucky to catch up to the other states in accepting this kind of policies,” said Morgan.

Republican Senator John Schickel of Boone County said it’s not a matter of if the bill passes, but when.

“I don’t know about this session, but that’s the way it’s going. Every session it picks up steam,” said Schickel.

The northern Kentucky senator said he hasn’t made up his mind on how he would vote on the bill and added that both sides have such valid arguments.

“For many people, alcohol is a very addictive drug. And so I think there is a bit of a double standard. And being a libertarian at heart, I see both sides of it,” said Schickel. “Who am I to say that a person who’s dying of cancer, or a person who has post-traumatic stress from serving in the war, and thinks that this can help them--- Who am I to say that they can’t have it, especially in a state where we have a huge alcohol industry.”

Governor Beshear’s executive order on medical cannabis is currently in effect. The order allows people 21 and up with a medical provider’s statement to purchase up to eight ounces of marijuana from another state. However, Morgan said the order simply isn’t enough.

“A lot of them (veterans) don’t feel comfortable. They don’t want to drive across state lines,” Morgan said.

An average of 22 veterans die each day from suicide. Morgan said he has seen peers die from accidental deaths while trying to treat pain with substances.

“I’ve lost two of my friends just recently, and one was to alcohol, the other was to fentanyl overdose and that fentanyl was laced inside of the marijuana that he purchased, that he was purchasing for medicinal reasons,” said Morgan.

While the future of medicinal marijuana and easy access remains unclear, Morgan says perhaps the uncertainty is the hardest part.

“It’s hard for me living in Kentucky, where my children where my family is, and knowing that treatment is available, but kind of just sitting around and waiting for it to become available for me,” said Morgan.