Medical marijuana supporters urge Lexington council to pass resolution

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Supporters of medical marijuana legislation spoke at the Lexington Urban County Council meeting on Thursday night, urging city leaders to take action and put pressure on state lawmakers.

Among the speakers was Nick Risden. WKYT's Sam Dick introduced us last year to Risden, a nationally-known dog trainer whose life and health took a sudden turn last summer when he was bitten by a tick.

Risden told WKYT's Garrett Wymer that medical marijuana is making a difference for him, and he wants to make sure others in pain get the same chance.

He carried up to the podium a container full of the dozens of medicines he has to take every day, sharing his story and how medical marijuana has helped him.

"I went from nine seizures a day to one about every four to six weeks," he told council members. "I still have one from time to time. But I'm getting my life back."

Risden was joined by several others - many of them veterans - urging council to pass a resolution supporting the use of medicinal marijuana and supporting two bills filed in Frankfort that would allow it.

The group of supporters wore stickers saying "I support medical cannabis - House Bill 166."

House Bill 166 was filed by Rep. John Sims Jr., D-Flemingsburg, who was part of a task force started by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. The bill was a result of the task force's discussions with doctors and patients.

Those who spoke at the council meeting said they hope a resolution from council would put pressure on lawmakers in Frankfort to consider and pass House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 118.

Several council members - and the mayor - said they support that.

Council will discuss the resolution at a work session scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday. They called a special meeting for 5 p.m. Tuesday to vote on it.

Supporters said that several other cities and counties in Kentucky have already passed similar resolutions.

Nearly 30 states around the country allow medical marijuana.

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