FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana. House Bill 136 would make the drug available for nearly 60,000 Kentuckians.
The bill's sponsors are calling house bill 136 "Trust Your Doctor Bill". They say it is a tool that medical professionals have been asking for and they feel legislators should not stand in the way. The bill aims to help people with conditions that don't respond to traditional medicine.
They say it would be up to the doctor to recommend what form of cannabis the patient would benefit from but it does prohibit smoking in public. There are obviously some concerns about the bill including Senate President Robert Stivers.
"It's been preached for years it is a gateway drug," said Stivers.
Despite opposition, the sponsors do believe they have enough bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
Republican State Senator Dan Seum said he was given a bottle of OxyContin seven years ago when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He said he threw the bottle away when he got home and smoked marijuana. He said the effects helped him not to miss a day of the legislative session that year.
"When I left the hospital, they gave me that nice bottle of oxycontin. I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoke a joint and guess what? No nausea. I was able to function while going through treatment, it was during the legislative session and I didn't miss a day," said Senator Seum.
Representative James Nemes expanded on that by saying he hopes they can stop criminalizing those who use cannabis for relief.
"I've never taken an illegal drug in my life but let me tell you and I'll say it clearly in front of every camera in Kentucky. If my son, or my wife, or my parents or one of my brothers and sisters would benefit from medical marijuana, tell me where to get it, even if it's illegal. And I would submit that 99 percent of Kentuckians would do the same exact thing," said Representative Nemes.
The bill does include regulations and guidelines for dispensaries, applying to grow at home, and for doctors recommending the use.
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