Kentucky Passes Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana

The Kentucky State Senate has approved a new proposal allowing Kentuckians to use marijuana for medical purposes, moving the state closer to allowing medicinal cannabis. 

The Kentucky House of Representatives has previously supported efforts to legalize medical cannabis use, making it likely the measure will be passed and signed into law by the Bluegrass State. 

Patients with chronic pain, along with those suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other chronic conditions, would qualify for medical cannabis cards and be allowed to use the plant for its medicinal purposes. 

According to Kentucky’s Capitol website, the bill, as amended, would go into effect in January 2025, should Governor Scott Brown sign the bill. 

Kentucky would be the last state next door to Tennessee to adopt a comprehensive marijuana hemp medicinal schedule, if approved. 

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s latest efforts to create a state-run medical cannabis program are stuck in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee did not endorse the measure, and only one Republican supported the legislation.

“A constituent approached me several years ago with a personal story regarding medicinal marijuana, piquing my interest and beginning the process of crafting this piece of legislation,” Republican Senator Stephen West told his colleagues on the committee. “I am a proponent of this issue, not for personal reasons, but because through extensive research, I genuinely feel that medical cannabis is inherently safe. On this issue, I believe Kentuckians deserve as many safe options for their medical care and treatment as possible.”

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said: “It’s not very often I change my mind. I did on industrial hemp and I did today on medical marijuana. I’m just trying to be a little more empathetic in my old age.”