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Committee in Frankfort discussing medical marijuana in Kentucky


MGN Online

MGN Online

A controversial treatment is the topic of a meeting in Frankfort Wednesday afternoon.

A committee is discussing making medical marijuana legal in Kentucky.

The discussion in Kentucky could be life changing for at least one family in attendance.

Tuesday night, WKYT brought you the story of Charlie Byrd from West Liberty. The energetic and brave 5-year-old boy who is battling a rare, and sometimes deadly form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome.

Charlie has frequent seizures and has spent much of his childhood in and out of the hospital. Charlie's parents Crystal and Eric Byrd say all medicines and treatments they have tried but are not working. They believe their greatest chance of monitoring Charlie's illness is through medical marijuana. In the state of Kentucky, medical marijuana is illegal.

People came from near and far to show their support for legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky.

Things got heated inside the meeting. Kentucky Senator Katie Stine made a motion to adjourn the meeting halfway through the discussion of medical marijuana. She said that all members of the senate had another meeting to attend. Several medical marijuana supporters were offended and frustrated by Stine's motion because many didn't have the chance to voice their opinions.

In the end, the chairman of the committee decided to continue the meeting even though most of the senators left. The meeting started with a lot of questions from our state leaders about marijuana.There were several speakers on hand including some patients who say they wouldn't be alive without the use of medical marijuana.

Irvin Rosenfeld flew in from Florida to talk about his health struggles and how he says medical marijuana saved his life. He says he has a federal prescription to use it. He believes everyone, including those in Kentucky should not be denied the plant he says is keeping him alive.

"I'm here a face and voice on the situation."I'm not the only one who needs this. There are thousands upon thousands of people in your state that need this. Look at me, look at how helpful it's been for me," says Rosenfeld, who suffers from rare bone cancer.

Representative Robert Benvenuti says that he can't support medical marijuana without scientific evidence that is is capable of curing some illnesses. He says it's too risky at this point with the state's drug problem.

"There's further studies that need to be done. Kentucky cannot afford to get out in front and continue addiction. We simply cannot had it, " says Rep. Benvenuti.

The Byrd's attended Wednesday's meeting to show their support for legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky. They are moving to Colorado, where it is legal for their son, Charlie to use it.

He's a good little kid. He deserves a chance," says Crystal Byrd.

"Seizures are a side effect to some of his seizure medicine. Death is a side effect. It's crazy the side effects that are approved, I can put in my son but I can't put a plant that comes out of the ground," adds Byrd.

The Byrd's recognize medical marijuana may not help Charlie, but they say it is their last hope.

"They think it's a gateway drug, that he is going to get high. My son will not be smoking a joint. He will be taking a pill or an oil. And it will be administered by one of his caregivers. He will never have a marijuana cigarette," says Byrd.

So far, 20 states in the U.S. allow medical marijuana.


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