FRANKFORT, Ky (LEX 18) Could Marijuana be the solution to Kentucky's Pension Crisis? Activist Daniel Seum thinks so.
Daniel Seum Jr. spoke with LEX 18 about how Cannabis products have helped improve the lives of many Kentuckians, including himself.
"Eric Crawford, who's been a quadriplegic for 22 years in Maysville, Kentucky, Danny "Greasy" Belcher", he's a Vietnam veteran," Seum Jr. read from the list.
For years, Seum Jr. has been on a mission to legalize Marijuana across the Commonwealth, but he said he's finally being taken seriously. Legalization is now being considered as a solution to the state pension crisis.
"It's sad that that's what it's taking, but there is an economic factor to this," he said. "When you free up that market, there will be taxes and those taxes are used for pensions."
The state pension fund is about 40 billion dollars in debt, but Seum Jr. said that if a bill to be filed by his father, Senator Dan Seum, of Louisville, were to pass, Kentucky could begin to chip away at that giant deficit.
Daniel Seum Jr. estimates that there would be 110 million dollars in tax revenue a year.
Besides the economic benefits of legalization, Seum Jr. said it would also free up the courts, jails, and law enforcement.
"There are so many factors involved you have health factors that these people need it, and you have an economic factor. its a win-win for us," he said.
One major block to this plan is Kentucky's governor, Matt Bevin. He's gone on record stating that as long as he's governor, he will not allow recreational marijuana use in Kentucky.
But Seum Jr. says this, "he doesn't control Kentucky. We do. Our people control Kentucky."
Seum Jr. knows that legalization will be an uphill battle, but it's a battle he's fought before and vows to continue to fight.
"It's time to change this barbaric prohibition," said Seum Jr.
The bill has not been filed as it continues to be under revision.
There will be a Veterans Military Affairs and Public Protection Interim Joint Committee Meeting on Thursday at the Capitol Annex in room 149. Public input is welcome. Attendees are scheduled to hear testimony regarding Cannabis and public safety from officials of the Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, National Marijuana Initiative, and Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
The meeting will last between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
A press conference is scheduled to precede the meeting.
For more information, contact Daniel Seum Jr. at (502) 387-8380 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org