LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Advocates are working hard this week to push for cannabis reform laws here in Kentucky, spending the day Tuesday at the state capitol lobbying lawmakers before hosting a community forum.
Right now there are four cannabis-related bills filed in Frankfort:
- HB 136: medical cannabis
- SB 80: recreational marijuana ("responsible adult use")
- SB 82: decriminalization of possession
- SB 83: "Shauna's Law," establishing workplace protections for public employees using industrial hemp products
At a community forum Tuesday evening at The Plantory in Lexington, advocates with KY NORML explained and answered questions about their efforts to push for medical marijuana, their top priority.
"We're 20-some years behind on medical marijuana. California was 20-some-odd years ago," said Matthew Bratcher, executive director of KY NORML. "We've got a lot of ground to make up, we've got a lot to do. We've got a lot of sick and suffering patients in this state, we've got children that need help, we've got veterans that need access to get off opioids..."
Advocates told WKYT's Garrett Wymer that some lawmakers still have questions and concerns about HB 136, but they believe it will pass - this session, even.
"The pace that we're going, I absolutely believe it's going to be a reality," said Ashly Taylor, a medical marijuana entrepreneur and educator. "It would be a shame if it wasn't. Other states are offering it, the time is now, patients are needing it now, any delay only hurts the people of Kentucky."
Advocates will be back at the capitol on Wednesday for more lobbying efforts and for a rally in the rotunda at 1:30 p.m.