Kentucky Medical Cannabis Bill Faces Uphill Fight

Kentucky Medical Cannabis Bill Faces Uphill Fight

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(kickstand/iStock) FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky touted its potential on Thursday as a viable alternative to ease the state’s addiction woes from opioid painkillers. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes joined other advocates at a state Capitol event to promote a medical cannabis legalization bill introduced this week in the state House. Advocates included Eric Crawford, who had a plastic bag filled with prescription bottles in his lap as he sat in a wheelchair. He suffered spinal cord injuries in a vehicle crash 24 years ago, and many of the prescriptions were to combat pain and relax muscles. “I am a ‘no’ on medicinal marijuana at this time, pending further scientific information that could change my mind.” Crawford, who lives in Mason County, said Kentuckians who want to use medical marijuana should not have to fear being treated as criminals. “It’s not for everybody to run out and get high,” he said. “You’re helping sick people.” The bill resulted from work by a task force that Grimes led. The group heard “heartbreaking” stories from people whose suffering could be eased by medical marijuana, she said. “Kentuckians are begging for an alternative to opioids and prescriptions,” Grimes said. “The natural remedy is what they are asking for to help with their illness and ailments.” Kentucky continues to be ravaged by opioid-related addictions. Kentucky had more than 1,400 drug overdose deaths in 2016, a 39 percent increase from three years ago. Grimes, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2014, noted that 29 states have legalized medical cannabis. Grimes called on the Republican-led legislature to make Kentucky the next state to join the list. “Today is a real gut check for every member of the General Assembly,” she said. “Will they stand up […]

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