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Medical marijuana advocate wants legislative momentum to continue

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Posted at 2:32 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 14:32:17-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) — The Kentucky General Assembly kicked off the 2020 legislative session on Tuesday and medical marijuana advocates said they'll be watching and reaching out to lawmakers to push for legalization of medical marijuana.

In 2019, a pro-legalization legislation passed out of a House committee, but was never brought to the floor for a final vote due to time running out.

Now, a year later, Gov. Andy Beshear is supportive of moving the bill forward.

"The time has come for medicinal marijuana. Let's take that step," said Beshear. "I believe it can be done in a revenue-positive way where no one is priced out of medication they may need, but it will also help the budget in so many other areas."

Kentucky advocates are asking for the bill to be passed after seeing other states move forward with the legislation.

"My veterans need it, actually," the head of Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana Brent Goss told WAVE. "The citizens of the state deserve to have safe access. We just had Illinois go completely legal. You know, we're looking at a two-hour trip from Louisville."

Goss told WAVE that he believes the bill has a better chance in 2020 with the extended budget session. He said that himself and other advocates want to try and convince House Speaker David Osbourne and Senate President Robert Stivers to take the issue to a vote.

"They need to understand that they work for us," Goss said. "We give them the privilege of working for us. Now, they need to take that into consideration."

Goss also told WAVE that a bill that was pre-filed by Rep. Jason Nemes represents what they will be fighting for.

"I've almost died," Goss told WAVE. "I was addicted to opiates. I was addicted to Benzos."

Lawmakers will be crafting a budget in 2020 that will be used for the next two years. This legislative session will end in April.