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Kentucky Lawmaker Thinks 2013 is the Year Medical Marijuana Will Pass Legislature

A Kentucky Senator is unveiling legislation Thursday that would make medical marijuana legal in the Bluegrass State. Louisville Democrat Perry Clark's bill would make marijuana a schedule two drug, meaning it would be recognized as having legitimate medical purposes, while still being somewhat restricted.

Supporters of medical marijuana say smoking the drug can help alleviate pain related to glaucoma and gastrointestinal illness, while also stimulating hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients.

WKU Public Radio asked Clark what chance he thought the bill had of passing next year.

"It's time to start this conversation," said Clark. "You asked what chance does it have...the chances are that if the people get behind it and there's a groundswell of support, then it could happen. Because it's happened elsewhere through that same method."

Opponents of medical marijuana say it's nearly impossible to keep those who want to use the drug recreationally from exploiting laws intended to help the sick.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.