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Kentucky Senator Files "Cannabis Freedom Act"

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Senator Perry B. Clark of Louisville announced Friday that he has pre-filed the “Cannabis Freedom Act,” which would regulate the use of cannabis in Kentucky just as alcohol is regulated.

The press release from Senator Clark stated that the bill would repeal the Commonwealth’s current total prohibition on marijuana cultivation, possession and sale. Senator Perry says the bill would replace the current prohibition with a framework that would “promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age.”

 “It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol,” said Clark. “The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth.”

The act creates a three-tier licensing system which would separate and regulate cannabis cultivators, processors, and retailers independently to prevent monopolization and vertical integration.

The tax revenue generated from the legal cannabis sales would be added to a restricted fund set up to increase SEEK funding for Kentucky’s public schools. The tax revenue would provide needs-based scholarships to Kentucky students who want to attend public institutions of post-secondary education within Kentucky. It would also increase funding for “evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs, provide grants to local law enforcement agencies to purchase protective equipment and would provide additional revenue to the general fund,” according to the press release.

Clark believes that this is a “common sense proposal” and it would move Kentucky in a positive direction.

This bill will be considered during the 2016 Legislative Session which will convene on Tuesday, January 5. 

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