Lawsuit challenges Kentucky's medical marijuana ban

Lawsuit challenges Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

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LOUISVILLE — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers. The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator. Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother. "She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct," said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. "That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional." Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: "I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard." The suit, filed in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort, claims the medical marijuana ban violates state constitutional privacy protections. The government also cannot arbitrarily restrict the liberty of patients to use medicines that work, said another plaintiffs’ attorney, Candace Curtis. "Cannabis helps sick people," Curtis said. "It is safe, it is not addictive and it works." More than half the country allows patients suffering from chronic pain and other ailments to use medical marijuana as an alternative to "often dangerous and addictive" prescription drugs, the suit said. The suit also delved into Kentucky’s struggles with opioid addiction. Kentucky had the nation’s third-highest death rate from opioid overdoses in 2015, it said. Hospital admissions from opioid abuse have dropped in states allowing medicinal cannabis, it said. "Medical cannabis keeps people off of opioids," Canon said. Defendants are […]

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