Cannabis policy reform could come to Kentucky by introducing separate bills to legalize medical cannabis and adult use.
On Thursday, Democratic Senator David Yates, Senator Morgan McGarvey, and Representative Rachel Roberts introduced identical bills in the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives to end the cannabis ban. titled LETTS Grow Act (House Bell 521 And the Senate Bill 186), the bill would legalize medical and recreational cannabis.
“Our legislation is the comprehensive plan that Kentuckians deserve, and it builds on what has worked in other states while avoiding their mistakes,” Roberts said. He said At a press conference on Thursday. “This would be a boon to our economy and farmers alike, as well as give state and local governments a major new source of revenue.”
The legislators pointed out that the title of the bill meant codification, survey, treatment and taxation. Under the legislation, adults are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public and up to 12 ounces in a private setting. The use of cannabis to treat any medical condition “the authorized practitioner believes that the card patient may receive a therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of medicinal cannabis” will also be legalized by law.
Adults and patients are allowed to share up to one ounce of cannabis with each other. Home growing of up to 10 mature cannabis plants is also permitted. The bill also contains provisions for the automatic abolition of misdemeanor fees related to cannabis after one year. Yates noted that the bill would help relieve pressure on overcrowded Kentucky prisons and free up police to focus on other matters.
“Through the decriminalization of marijuana offenses a low level, it allows the police and the courts to re-prioritize their resources in order to address the most serious crimes,” He said Senator Yates. “Young offenders of marijuana possession, many of whom are young, should not be burdened with a criminal record and the penalties and stigma associated with it for life. We have put far too many people behind bars for this crime. Our lockout places are full of them, and it is unfair and expensive.”
The measure provides for a 6 percent state tax on cannabis products, and local governments will be able to levy an additional tax of up to 5 percent. Roberts said that based on information from Michigan and Illinois, Kentucky could generate up to $100 million in new tax revenue each year by legalizing and regulating cannabis production and sales.
“Make no mistake: Kentuckians grow cannabis, sell cannabis, and consume cannabis,” He said Roberts. We do not we organize for their safety or benefit from the tax revenues that should be generated. We leave money on the table, and at the same time, ignore the wishes of our citizens. ”
Revenue from cannabis taxes will be used to fund drug abuse treatment programs, scholarships, and grants for communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
“Our plan is comprehensive and interested,” Roberts said. “It helps patients, it gives a second chance to those who shouldn’t have been charged, and it will put Kentucky overnight into a multi-billion dollar job. We shouldn’t wait another year to reap these big benefits.”
A medical cannabis bill was also introduced
Republican Representative Jason Nimes told reporters he did not believe Kentucky lawmakers would pass a bill legalizing recreational cannabis. But he also said his bill to legalize some forms of medical cannabis, Bill House 136is likely to win approval, saying the measure has “an overwhelming majority of support” in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“I don’t think, I know there is no appetite in the recreational marijuana general association at this point,” Nimes said. “Medical marijuana is my fight, and this is the fight where we have the vast majority of support in the House and Senate.”
Nimes introduced his bill in the House of Representatives on January 4. Under the measure, patients with eligible medical conditions will be allowed to use medicinal cannabis products that contain no more than 70 percent THC. This measure does not allow smoking medical cannabis and home cultivation will not be permitted. Nimes said support for the legalization of medical cannabis is growing, including from Senate President Robert Stevens.
“President Stevens has said many times that he admits it helps some people. He lists some of the conditions and by the way these conditions are some of those in the [House Bill 136]Nems said. “He said he could support a tight medical marijuana bill. Oh my God, that’s as tight as I can get.”