Kentucky lawmaker hopes third time is the charm for medical marijuana bill

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Kentucky state Sen. Perry Clark, a Democrat from Louisville, announced late last week that he will again be pushing medical marijuana legislation in his state. He made his plans public last Thursday at a party for supporters at his house.
Clark’s two previous attempts in 2012 and 2013 failed to even get a hearing. Clark says that isn’t going to be the case this session as legislators are poised to debate his bill August 21 in a Health and Welfare joint committee (no pun intended).


The bills, dubbed the “Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act” likely will be similar to bills in the past, which reclassified marijuana under Kentucky law as a Schedule II substance and would have allowed patients to cultivate their own cannabis. Possession limits were set at five ounces of cannabis.
“It’s time. 40 percent of the states have already passed medical marijuana laws and Kentucky is kind of fallen behind on that,” Clark told WHAS Louisville. “The science is far on our side. Cannabis is medicine. It’s medicine in its many forms.”
Federal medical marijuana patient Irv Rosenfeld is scheduled to speak at the August 21 hearing.
Jaime Montalvo suffers from multiple sclerosis. He says the legislation needs to pass so that sick people like him don’t have to live like criminals simply to access the medicine they need.
“I’m definitely not a criminal, I’m somebody that goes through a lot of pain every day and chooses not to use pharmaceutical medications to treat my pain,” he told WDRB Louisville.
The bill is also slightly personal. Clark constantly battles chronic back pain and has been told by his doctor that medical marijuana would help his condition.
The bill has been filed early in order to be part of the August 21 hearing, but will be officially introduced in January 2014. In the meantime, Clark urges all Kentuckians to write or call their representatives and urge them to support the bill. You can find your representative over on the state legislative site.
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