FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear says the "time has come" for access to medical marijuana in the state after the Kentucky General Assembly failed to do so during the most recent legislative session.
The governor announced four steps on Thursday to move the state closer towards legalization.
- Gov. Beshear asked his general counsel to begin analyzing options under the law for the Governor to consider regarding executive action on medical cannabis;
- Establishing the Governor’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Team;
- He will ask this advisory team to travel around the state and listen to what Kentuckians have to say about medical cannabis; and
- The Governor has established a way for Kentuckians to communicate with his office specifically on this topic. They can email the Governor’s Office at GovMedicalCannabisAdvisoryTeam@ky.gov.
The announcement comes as the bill to legalize it stalled and died in the Senate, despite growing public support in the state.
As of February 2022, a total of 37 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands regulate cannabis for medical use by qualified individuals.
Gov. Beshear points out that Kentucky is falling behind when it comes to medical marijuana.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) April 21, 2022
He says that many states are allowing their citizens to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
He’s frustrated KY is not doing the same. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/NQV8vYJwqM
The governor says it's time to give ailing Kentuckians relief with this form of treatment.
"For those suffering from Alzheimer's, ALS, cancer, severe chronic pain, epilepsy, seizures, PTSD, and many other conditions, those are conditions in many other states where they can work with the healthcare provider to gain access to medical cannabis to help treat their symptoms if it's right for them," said Gov. Beshear.
When asked if the governor supported the legalization of recreational marijuana, Gov. Beshear reiterated that it's "time" for medicinal marijuana, but also said the state should look into decriminalizing those in possession of cannabis.
"Nobody needs to go to jail, ultimately causing them the loss of jobs, being apart from their family, for possession of marijuana," said Gov. Beshear.