Bluegrass Poll: Majority of Kentuckians Want Hemp, Medical Marijuana Legalized

Feb 24, 2013

(Left to right) U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul testified in Frankfort on behalf of industrial hemp.
Credit Kentucky LRC

A new Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows strong support for the legalization of both industrial hemp and medical marijuana.

Efforts are underway in the current Kentucky General Assembly on both those fronts. The industrial hemp bill has been the subject of much attention recently, with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, and U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie testifying in Frankfort on behalf of the effort.

Gov. Steve Beshear, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, and numerous Kentucky law enforcement groups oppose hemp legalization, however, making the bill a long-shot to pass this session.

According to the new poll, nearly two-thirds of Kentuckians--65 percent--favor legalizing industrial hemp, with 22 percent opposed and 13 percent unsure.

The same poll shows 60 percent of Kentuckians support legalizing medical marijuana for prescription use.

State Sen. Perry Clark, a Louisville Democrat, has filed a bill allowing Kentucky doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS. However, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the measure won't be brought up for a vote this session.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. It is based on surveys of 616 registered Kentucky voters taken between Feb. 19-21.