medical marijuana

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Kentucky adults would be able to use, possess and grow small amounts of cannabis under a pair of bills proposed for the upcoming legislative session.

The measures—one of which would amend the state Constitution—seek to decriminalize the personal use of cannabis, but wouldn’t create the system of licensed growers and retailers seen in other states that have legalized it.

Rep. Nima Kulkarni, a Democrat from Louisville and sponsor of the bills, said Kentucky is in a “confused place” because polling shows most voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis but lawmakers still won’t do it.

“We are in a shrinking minority of states that have no provisions for adult cannabis use. I think given the momentum it has nationally and statewide, I think we need to do something, and I think our voters want us to do something,” Kulkarni said.

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A pared-down medical marijuana bill will be introduced during Kentucky’s next legislative session with hopes of gaining support among conservative lawmakers who have blocked it in the past.

The state House passed a measure in 2020 that would have allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis for several medical conditions and created a regulatory system to grow and sell it, but it was never taken up in the Senate.

The new version doesn’t allow people to grow their own plants. And like the older version of the bill, it doesn’t allow people to smoke marijuana—only legalizing products like edibles and oils.

Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville and sponsor of the measure, said the bill isn’t for the recreational use of marijuana; it’s only for people with serious medical conditions.

Dank Depot Marijuana via Flickr

A proposal to introduce medical marijuana in Tennessee has been voted down in the legislature, failing by a single vote in a House committee. While many Republicans have come around on cannabis, a majority say they’re still concerned about conflicting with federal law.

Even as all but a handful of states have legalized medical marijuana, it’s still considered a Schedule 1 street drug, along with heroin and meth. And so long as the Drug Enforcement Agency sees cannabis as illegal, Gov. Bill Lee will oppose it, says his legislative liaison Callon Schmid. Asked if he would have vetoed the measure, she didn’t say.

“He has been consistent in his position that until the federal government reschedules this drug, he is opposed to doing anything at the state level,” she told the House Civil Justice committee Tuesday afternoon, near the start of a two-hour debate.

Cannabis Research Foundation

Tennessee legislators may be cracking the door open to legalizing medical cannabis for a limited number of individuals.

Two bills are making progress in the state House of Representatives, including one that would permit the use of THC for quadriplegic veterans who were injured in the line of duty.

Co-sponsor John Mark Windle, D-Livingston, says House Bill 666/Senate Bill 1493 would allow the state to see how medical cannabis goes in a limited population.

“The individuals that I talked to that are in this category have asked me to keep it narrow,” Windle said in a House Health Subcommittee meeting Tuesday. “And maybe they can set an example for other people that Tennesseans are responsible and are reasonable and are sober.”

Lisa Autry

As medical marijuana legislation inches closer toward approval in the Kentucky General Assembly, one group is urging lawmakers to consider the risk to public health. 

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky hasn’t taken a position on the issue because of what it says is a lack of science behind the effectiveness and potential dangers of medical marijuana.  However, a poll released last month by the group found that 90 percent of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical marijuana.

Foundation President Ben Chandler says there are lessons to be learned from the 33 states that already allow the drug to be used in various forms.


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The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana in limited ways. This is the furthest an effort to legalize any form of marijuana has ever gone.

Sixty-five lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, while 30 voted against it. It was the first time a medical marijuana bill passed a chamber of the General Assembly.

The House Judiciary Committee passed HB 136 last week, with a vote of 17 to 1. The bill has 51 cosponsors. It will head next to the Senate, which like the House is Republican-led.

Ryland Barton

A bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use passed out of a Kentucky legislative committee on Wednesday.

The bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for several medical conditions and create a regulatory system for the growth, sale and use of marijuana products. The legislation would not allow the marijuana plant to be smoked.

Eric Crawford, an advocate for the bill, says he uses marijuana to ease painful symptoms he suffers as the result of a car accident more than twenty years ago.

 


A statewide forum on medical marijuana will take place in Kentucky this fall. 

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will host the forum on September 23 in Lexington.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

Foundation CEO Ben Chandler said in a statement that it will be a 'balanced' forum designed to answer a lot of questions with experts on all sides. 


Harvest, Inc.

Meigs County, Ohio, has a complicated history with marijuana.

“Meigs County Gold” has been grown illegally for years. Local legend has it that was the strain of choice for musicians like the Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson when they toured Ohio.

But for Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith, that isn’t a source of pride. Instead it felt like a target on his back.


Provided by Adriane Polyniak

Inside the Bluegrass Hemp Oil store in Lexington, Kentucky, the CBD oils and lotions lining the walls have an origin story — a story of a family’s struggle.

“We took a huge risk, to be perfectly honest, because we didn’t know. We weren’t trying other people’s CBD products that were out there,” Bluegrass Hemp Oil Co-owner Adriane Polyniak, said.

Polyniak’s son, Colten, began inexplicably having violent seizures in 2009 when he was three. He was diagnosed with idiopathic generalized epilepsy.


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A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat some medical conditions has passed out of a state legislative panel.

Though the legislation has a long way to go to pass out of the legislature, the move amounts to one of the only times that a medical marijuana proposal has advanced in the statehouse.

House Bill 136 would create a state-regulated system that would include growers, processors, dispensers and testers of marijuana.

Kentucky Governor Outlines Support for Medical Marijuana

Feb 12, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's Republican governor says he would be happy to sign a bill to make marijuana legal for medical purposes.

Matt Bevin told a community forum in Stanford on Tuesday his teenage nephew died after battling cancer. He said his nephew suffered near the end of his life, suggesting medical marijuana can provide relief to people experiencing similar pain.

Bevin said his support for a bill legalizing medical marijuana would depend on how the bill is written, adding he would be opposed to a bill written solely to raise money for the state's general fund.

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A new state Senate bill introduced Tuesday would legalize medical marijuana in the state. The bill would create a new system to license medical marijuana growers, dispensaries, health practitioners and create a governmental body to oversee the system.

The Senate bill is a companion bill to House Bill 136, introduced in January. Senate Bill 170 is sponsored by Sen. Stephen West, a Republican from Paris.

The bill would allow health providers to recommend medical marijuana to a patient for ‘therapeutic or palliative’ benefit.  There’s emerging evidence that marijuana is effective in the treatment of conditions including chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, sleep disorders and Tourette syndrome.

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A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers has proposed a medical marijuana bill that would allow people to buy the drug from licensed dispensaries if a doctor recommends it.

Medical marijuana legislation has been discussed in recent years, but has never gained enough momentum to pass the preliminary stages of the Kentucky legislature.

Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville and one of the bill’s sponsors, said that a majority of the 100-member House support the bill.

J. Tyler Franklin

During the upcoming Kentucky General Assembly, lawmakers will consider taking up a variety of proposals like a new attempt to change state worker pension benefits, funding for charter schools and limiting citizens’ right to sue other individuals and businesses.

Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office for the third year in a row, meaning they won’t need any help from Democrats to pass bills or constitutional amendments if they can stay united.

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