Another Marijuana Bill Filed In Kentucky, This One For Medical Cannabis

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A second bill allowing medical marijuana has been filed in Kentucky’s legislature, becoming the fifth marijuana-related legislation to be filed in the 2018 General Assembly.

Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris, filed Senate Bill 118, which allows patients with certain medical diagnoses to obtain any form of marijuana.

“Personally, after looking at all the information, it is a very complex issue,” Sen. West said. “But after looking at it for a couple of years, and having some people in my district that were working on a bill, I decided to jump on board and put it out there and hopefully it’s a framework we can start with.”

West’s bill is a companion to a medical marijuana bill filed in the House by Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg.

Medical marijuana has elicited mixed reactions from House and Senate leaders. Senate President Robert Stivers said he opposes legalizing any form of marijuana, but said he would not block a bill from receiving a hearing. House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne offered a more nuanced opinion, saying he believes some people may benefit from medical marijuana, but worries there is not enough scientific evidence about the positive and negative effects.

Gov. Matt Bevin has said he may support some medical uses, but opposes legalizing recreational marijuana.

West acknowledged the issue faces a tough road.

“(In the House) there’s 138 opinions, in the Senate there’s 38 opinions,” West said, referring to the total number of lawmakers. “I’ve talked to members who are for, members who are against. I’ve started working convincing people of the good reasons for the bill, and frankly, welcome input.”

Two other marijuana-related bills and a marijuana-related resolution have also been filed:

•Senate Bill 23 would all cannabidiol oil, a marijuana extract.

•Senate Bill 80 would legalize recreational marijuana for people above the age of 21 years old.

•House Resolution 34 calls on the federal government to “expedite research on the safety and effectiveness of the use of marijuana for certain health purposes.”