LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Health leaders from across the state met today in Lexington to talk about medical marijuana. People at the forum came from a range of backgrounds all with some interest in the future of the plant in Kentucky.
The keynote speaker Andrew Freedman was very up front about unintended consequences of legalizing the substance and the concerns from the medical community in labeling it a medicine. His home state of Colorado first legalized medical marijuana and then for recreational use.
"Cannabis as an intoxicant, I think that does the best at preventing driving while high, substance abuse," Freedman said.
A concern lawmakers have voiced is that they don't think there is enough evidence out there showing that it is a positive, something many in the medical community agree with.
"We saw with the opioid epidemic how it is easy to cherry pick studies or misrepresent studies for special interest gains," Dr. Danesh Mazloomdoost of Wellward Regenerative Medicine said.
There's also an economic interest with this debate. Ben Chandler, president of the group hosting the forum Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, explained his thoughts on why many taxpayers care about the discussion.
"We've spent huge amounts of money in this nation trying to interdict this substance and I think most people would say that we've been largely unsuccessful. It's being used wildly," Chandler said.