FRANKFURT, Kentucky (AP) – If a medical marijuana legalization bill doesn’t make it to office, Governor Andy Beshear says he’s willing to consider taking action himself to give some sick Kentuckians access to medical cannabis.
The Democratic governor’s comments Thursday reflected his growing frustration that the latest medical marijuana bill is currently stalled in the state Senate.
Asked if he could issue an executive order making medical marijuana available if the bill dies, the governor told reporters, “We’ll explore that.”
“It’s something we’re going to look at,” he said. “It’s time for sure.”
But the governor called on lawmakers to send in a bill that would allow Kentucky to join the majority of states that have legalized medical marijuana.
High-level Kentucky Scale cleaning the house E on 59 to 34 last month but made no progress in the Senate. Republicans have an overwhelming majority in both houses.
The bill would strictly regulate cannabis use for a list of eligible medical conditions. Bashir said the measure has overwhelming support among Kentuckians.
“You see people from every part of every spectrum who are in favor of that,” Bashir said.
The bill’s prospects look bleak in the Senate. Senate President Robert Stevens said Thursday that it would be “difficult” to pass the measure once lawmakers meet next week for the last two days of this year’s 60-day session.
Instead, Stivers promoted another pending bill that would establish a Cannabis Research Center at the University of Kentucky to study the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions.
“Of course, I think there is a desire to help individuals,” said Stivers. “But with any drug, I think you need to have full studies.”
The Senate leader told reporters that those studies at the state’s main university will shed more light on the medicinal and therapeutic values of marijuana.
“That should give us the impetus to come back maybe in a year and say that’s what marijuana can or should not be used for,” said Stivers.
The governor said the passage of legislation legalizing medical marijuana is already overdue.
Under current law, doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis for a specific list of conditions that include cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy and chronic nausea.
The procedure also includes the provisions of the “internal rule”. It would make medical cannabis legal at the state level, but the courts or county financial committees could vote not to allow it. However, cities in those counties will have the option to allow this.
Supporters say medical marijuana will ease the suffering of many Kentuckians.
Eric Crawford, an established medical marijuana attorney in Kentucky, told lawmakers that he is using medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids to deal with pain and muscle spasms from the injuries he suffered in a car accident more than two decades ago.
Opponents say they are concerned that Kentucky’s cannabis policy will become more lenient over the years if medical marijuana gains a legal foothold. They said that would exacerbate drug addiction problems.
If medical cannabis becomes legal in Kentucky, it will result in four types of related projects – cannabis growers, processors, dispensaries and safety testers. Republican Representative Jason Nimes, the bill’s lead sponsor, stressed that it would be a state enterprise.
Meanwhile, the governor also made a bid late Thursday for a bill that would legalize sports betting in Kentucky. This measure was also passed in the House of Representatives but remained weak in the Senate.
“You can drive across almost every Kentucky border and place a bet on your phone,” Bashir said. “It’s time for you to not be Kentucky last and step up and join the rest of the world.”
Stivers downplayed the importance of the bill as a source of revenue for the state.
He said, “If you think in dollars, that wouldn’t even be a penny in receipts for what it might generate. So I’m kind of ambivalent about it. As for entertainment value, what I would call either an appetizer or dessert would be in the list of options you might have here.” for entertainment.”
The tax revenue generated from sports betting will flow into the state’s public pension system. Sports betting sponsors have said they are expected to generate at least $22.5 million in profits per year.