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The Kentucky House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

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90% of Kentucky citizens support the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Although an overwhelming majority of the state supports medical use, legislators have tried unsuccessfully for over a decade to pass medical cannabis legislation. 

However, on Thursday, February 20, Kentucky finally took a step in the right direction. In an overwhelming 65-30 partisan vote, the Kentucky House passed a medical marijuana bill. This marked significant progress in a state plagued by delays, back and forth arguments, and divisive opinions on how to execute medical marijuana. 

The legislators approved House Bill 136 after 2 hours of debate and 8 rounds of approved amendments. HB 136 includes provisions such as:

According to the bill’s sponsor, Representative Jason Nemes, this is one of the strictest medical cannabis bills in the country. The House faced many debates over the merits and potential harms of cannabis misuse, which led to the ban on smokable marijuana. Others raised concerns about federal cannabis prohibition, which could, in theory, put Kentucky in legal hot water (although this is very unlikely). 

In spite of these concerns, the House passed HB 136. It will now go to vote in the Senate, although many State Senators have expressed a desire for more research before passing a medical cannabis program. Although we can’t say for sure if the Senate will pass HB 136, this is the most progress a medical cannabis measure has achieved in the state. 

Hopefully, the Senate will see the benefits of medical cannabis for alleviating many intractable medical conditions. If this passes, Kentucky will be the 34th state to legalize medical cannabis. 




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