Kentucky is looking to pass House Bill 136 and many advocates think that this is one of the best chances that the state has to legalize weed. This bill gathered momentum in early 2019 until now and this will be one of the first to get on the legislative agenda for 2020.
Jason Nemes is one of the state representatives that have co-sponsored this bill and he is confident that there will be enough support from his legislative colleagues to get it passed so it can move to marijuana legalization. The state of Kentucky is among seventeen other states that do not advocate or authorize the use of medical marijuana.
Policy Reform Support
Many Kentucky voters are supporting this policy reform. In fact, more than eighty percent of the public favor marijuana legalization for medical use and a majority of them are also in favor of legalizing recreational weed. Representative Jason Nemes and his co-sponsor Representative Diane St. Onge indicate that their proposal for House Bill 135 would give relief to residents with chronic medical conditions. More than sixty thousand residents would be helped.
The vote for House Bill 136 will take place in the early months of 2020. Even though, the House Bill 136 won’t make it out of the legislator’s committee in 2019, this does not mean that the bill is not going to make it all. Conversely, many of the legislators are in agreement and so that is a victory in itself. In fact, the vote was 16 to 1 in advance of the 2020 potential reform.
This is considered a hurdle being cleared and that is why Kentucky lawmakers began to pay close attention to the 2019 proposal initiated by Representative Jason Nemes and his co-sponsor. Representative Nemes indicated that he has received many commitments since his proposal and the ultimate vote in 2020 appears to be well favored already. It only needs sixty votes to secure a majority, which means that House Bill 136 should pass.
After being passed, the bill will go to the Governor Matt Bevin for final approval. As it stands now, it appears as if Governor Bevin will approve it because he had indicated his support for medical marijuana legalization. However, he also indicated that he would only approve it, if the bill is meant to help sick people and not to collect revenue for the state of Kentucky.
Many proponents are hoping that upon marijuana legalization in the state of Kentucky in 2020, the opioid crisis will be fully addressed. They are hoping that it will help patients with opioid addiction. With Governor Bevin’s tax revenue comments, policymakers are looking towards the opioid crisis and treatment for medical cannabis patients.
The Public Forum
Some advocates are wondering if there will be tight restrictions on marijuana legalization when it occurs in the state of Kentucky. However, it is yet to be seen. Of course, most states that have already legalized weed have specific regulations and guidelines, which is the right thing to do to maintain compliance. Discussions are still open among the public, policy makers and the legislators.
In fact, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky provided a public forum to medical specialists and patients to debate marijuana legalization issues that will affect them in 2020.
There are still some people who are skeptical about marijuana legalization in Kentucky and that is a given because not everyone is on board.
However, there is medical value in marijuana and most Kentuckians realize this, especially those who will use it to treat their medical conditions. So, we await the verdict to see if House Bill 136 will make it in the marijuana legalization arena. Stay tuned.