Kentucky Governor Andy Bashir said Thursday that he is considering what he can do to salvage a proposal to legalize medical cannabis that currently sits in the state’s general assembly.
Reporters asked about Democrats’ first term “whether he could pass an executive order making medical marijuana available if the bill dies,” the Associated Press reported.
“We will explore that,” Bashir was quoted by the news agency as saying. “It is something we will look at. It is definitely time.”
Bashir’s comments came nearly a month after his release The Kentucky House of Representatives passed legislation easily That would legalize medical marijuana in the state for eligible patients.
The measure, sponsored by House Republican Representative Jason Nimes, will allow doctors to recommend cannabis therapy for patients with a range of eligible conditions, such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and nausea.
The bill was approved in the House of Representatives, where the Republican Party has a large majority, by 59 to 34.
In his efforts to garner support for the bill, Nems spoke about his experience speaking to patients and doctors.
“I will never forget this mother leaning forward and touching my hand. She told me what that meant for her child, and they all walked around the room and said what it meant for them,” said Nems. “And I thought, ‘Here are good people, real good people, and I disagree with them. So, I began to question it. I’ve talked to doctors, and done a lot of research on the matter.'”
But the bill went nowhere in the state Senate, which is also dominated by Republicans. It’s an almost identical scenario to 2020, when the Kentucky State House passed a medicinal cannabis bill only to be blocked in the state Senate.
Robert Stevens, Speaker of the Kentucky State Senate, has been skeptical and dismissive of the bill from the start, saying that time is running out for the legislature to tackle legislation of this importance.
according to Louisville Courier JournalStivers, “remains against the legalization of medical marijuana, saying that while he’s seen research showing marijuana can have a positive effect on patients suffering from cramping, nausea and arthritis, he says those studies had small samples and were of small duration — while he saw Other studies have negative side effects.”
Recently, Stivers expressed doubt that lawmakers had enough time to get past the bill, as the 60-day assembly session wrapped up.
On Thursday, Stivers said it “will be difficult” to pass the bill when lawmakers return for the last two days of legislative session next week, According to the Associated Press,.
The Associated Press reported that Stivers “has promoted another pending bill that would create a cannabis research center at the University of Kentucky to study the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions.”
“I certainly think there is a desire to help individuals,” Stevens was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. “But with any drug, I think you need to get full studies.”
“It will give us the motivation to come back maybe in a year and say that’s what marijuana can be used for or not for,” added Stivers, according to the Associated Press.
Enter Bashir, who has been strong in his call for the legalization of medicinal cannabis in Kentucky.
While on Thursday he suggested he might resort to executive action on the matter, Bashir again urged lawmakers to deliver a bill to his office.
“You see people from every part of every spectrum supporting that,” Bashir was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.