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Will Kentucky be next to legalize?

Posted on December 15th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisWill the Bluegrass State beat the Golden State as the next to follow in the happy footsteps of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska by legalizing cannabis for recreational as well as medical use? WHAS11 in Louisville reported Dec. 11 that state Sen. Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville) pre-filed an act to legalize and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to how the state handles alcohol. The bill would repeal Kentucky's prohibition on cannabis cultivation, possession and sale. Instated in its place would be a "regulatory framework designed to promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age."

"It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol,” said Clark in announcing the legislation. "The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth."

Under his proposed law, tax dollars generated from the new commerce would go to supplement Kentucky's public education system and "evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs" (preusmably not for cannabis). "This is a common sense proposal that moves Kentucky positively forward," Clark said. The bill will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, which convenes Jan. 5.

In a strange case of political role reversal, it was the Republican candidate Matt Bevin who said he supported medical marijuana in Kentucky's recently concluded gubernatorial race—while Democratic challenger Jack Conway said he opposed it, calling cannabis a "gateway" drug. Bevin won and took office on Dec. 8. MSNBC finds that there is actually little support for much of his far-right agenda, such as scrapping Medicaid expansion. But he might be more likely to sign Clark's bill into law if it passes—although he has not taken a public stand for general legalization.

Photo by Drome

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