After years of frustration for patients and advocates in Kentucky, it’s possible that lawmakers in Frankfort will finally pass a medical cannabis law during the 2020 legislative session, which begins today. Last year, the House Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved a medical cannabis bill, but time ran out, and it did not receive a floor vote.
Rep. Jason Nemes has already pre-filed a bill on this subject, and newly elected Governor Andy Beshear has indicated that he strongly supports medical cannabis. However, some legislative leaders — including Senate President Robert Stivers — remain opposed, so the challenge for advocates will be getting a bill through the legislature and to the governor’s desk.
It’s critical that legislators hear from their constituents who support medical cannabis. After you write your legislators, please share this message with your friends and family.
Kentucky’s legislative session begins today, and marijuana policy reforms are already among the top issues being discussed in Frankfort. Lawmakers have indicated that they will soon be introducing several marijuana policy bills, including a medical cannabis bill, a decriminalization bill, and an adult-use legalization bill.
Although we support all of these bills, we believe the bill that has the strongest chance of passing in 2019 is the medical cannabis bill that will soon be introduced by Republican Reps. Jason Nemes and Diane St. Onge. A few months ago, Rep. Nemes confidently predicted that it would pass the legislature in 2019. However, we know that the effort will face strong opposition in the Senate, where Majority Leader Damon Thayer recently said, “I don't see the votes for medical marijuana yet.”
In order for this bill to pass, legislators will need to hear an outpouring of support from their constituents. After you write your elected officials, please share this message with your friends and family!
The Kentucky Legislature began its 2018 session last week, and marijuana policy reforms are already among the top issues being discussed in Frankfort. A medical cannabis bill, HB 166, has already been introduced in the House.
But that’s not all. Sen. Dan Seum, chairman of the Republican Senate Caucus, held a press conference to announce that he is introducing a bill, SB 80, that would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults 21 and older.
If you are a Kentucky resident, please send your representatives and senators a message and urge them to support reforming marijuana laws in 2018.
The lack of progress on marijuana policy reform in Kentucky has been frustrating, but it appears that the tide may finally be turning. Last week, Senator Dan Malano Seum (R-Fairdale) gave Kentuckians something to get excited about when he announced that he would sponsor a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana.
Advocates couldn’t ask for a more influential champion than Senator Seum. He has been in the state Senate for more than 20 years, and he currently serves as caucus chairman for the Senate Republicans, who hold a 27-11 majority in Frankfort. However, he won’t be able to pass this bill unless he receives a great deal of support from his colleagues.
If you are a Kentucky resident, please email your representative and senator today, and urge them to support Senator Seum’s proposal!
We expect that this bill will be introduced in early 2018, but the important work of building statewide support for reform must begin now.