Constitutional amendment on marijuana filed

Marijuana Pregnancy
Posted at 6:44 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 18:44:24-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — As the fight for legal medical marijuana in Kentucky continues in 2023, advocates are hoping for another marijuana change too: decriminalization.

“No one should be in jail for simply using or possessing marijuana," said Kungu Njuguna, a policy strategist for the ACLU of Kentucky.

Advocate groups like Kentucky NORML say decriminalizing marijuana possession "would have practical benefits, such as freeing up law enforcement resources and saving taxpayer money currently being wasted on the prosecution and incarceration of individuals for possession of small amounts of marijuana."

"Legalizing and regulating medical or adult-use cannabis would also create new economic opportunities and generate tax revenue, as well as create jobs and a new above-ground cannabis industry," a press release from Kentucky NORML stated.

So, on Tuesday, advocates rallied at the Capitol. The big thing they want is for Kentuckians to have a choice through a vote - meaning a constitutional amendment. And Rep. Nima Kulkarni has one ready to go.

"A constitutional amendment that directly asks voters in Kentucky to decide whether they want to decriminalize cannabis possession up to an ounce and cultivation of up to 5 plants for adults 21 and over in our state," Kulkarni explained.

Advocates say this type of reform is needed, especially for racial equity.

“Nationally, people who look like me are 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession," said Njuguna. "And in Kentucky, that disparity gets a whole lot worse. Nearly 10 times more likely - 9.4 to be exact.”