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Kentucky Lawmakers Discuss Medical Marijuana Bill

Posted: 3:05 PM, Jan 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-09 17:20:13-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18)– Two state representatives held a news conference on Wednesday discussing the filing of legislation that will allow the use of medical grade marijuana.

Lawmakers will file a bill this session that could change medical treatment for many people in Kentucky. If it is passed, House Bill 136 would make medical marijuana legal. People who want this treatment option say that they’ve been waiting years for this to happen.

Senator Dan Seum, Dan Seum, Sen. Seum
“I had colon cancer 7 years ago and when I left the hospital they gave me the nice bottle of oxycontin. I threw it in the garbage can and smoked a joint,” said Sen. Dan Seum at a news conference, January 9, 2019

The lawmakers in charge of the bill say that there are 40-60 thousand people living in Kentucky in constant pain because of chronic conditions. They said that if their doctor decides medical marijuana would help, its use should be allowed.

Medical marijuana use would be a controlled thing. People would need to get approved to use it and get a card.

State Senator Dan Seum admitted he used medical marijuana when he was going through cancer treatment. He said that he is willing to admit he broke an “unjust law.”

“For those who don’t know, I had colon cancer seven years ago and when I left the hospital they gave me a nice bottle of oxycontin. I threw it in the garbage can and smoked a joint,” he said.

Lawmakers specified that HB 136 is not a recreational marijuana bill and is only for medical use.  This bill would allow people who are approved for medical marijuana use to grow at their home. The limits include six mature plants and six seeds.

HB 136 is currently 149 pages so far. In those 149 pages, it says that smoking medical marijuana in public would not be allowed.

Sen. Seum talked about medical marijuana on the Senate floor as well. He said that people are dying and getting locked up over marijuana and he said that could be stopped by legalizing it.

Senate President Robert Stivers responded to these comments on the Senate floor, stating that, marijuana is a “gateway drug.” He then said he is open to discussion but has not been given any “studies and facts” that say marijuana has “medical and therapeutic value.”

“Where is the study? Are there other drugs that have been looked at?” Stivers said. “Deliver me the study.”

Sen. Seum then responded to the Senate President’s comments saying, “I don’t like the term ‘gateway drug’.”

“There are 20,000 studies,” said Seum.

Sen. Seum says that several of those studies will be delivered to the Senate President’s desk.

You can watch the news conference held by Representative Diane St. Onge and Representative Jason Nemes below:

WATCH LIVE: Rep. Diane St. Onge and Rep. Jason Nemes are set to hold a news conference on a bill that would allow the limited use of medical marijuana.

Posted by LEX 18 on Wednesday, January 9, 2019