A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Medical marijuana bill filed in KY House; HB 166 drafted with assistance of SOS Grimes’ task force

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Rep. John Sims, and members of the medical marijuana task force on Thursday unveiled the legislative proposal that is the result of their discussions.

Secretary of State Grimes, flanked by members of the medical marijuana task force and state legislators, address members of the press about House Bill 166 (provided photo).

Sims filed House Bill 166 Wednesday.

“What started as a whisper years ago is now a loud chorus. Kentuckians have declared 2018 as the year they expect action on medical marijuana from their legislators,” said Grimes. “Now, with 29 states and the District of Columbia offering relief in the form of medical marijuana to their citizens, we must waste no more time. We’ve heard real, heart-wrenching stories from all over the Commonwealth about how access to cannabis can provide long-lasting and life-changing relief. The serious discussions this task force had have resulted in a solid piece of legislation that can change lives.”

At a press conference, Grimes called on Kentuckians who are passionate about medical marijuana to join a campaign to educate and lobby the General Assembly in support of House Bill 166.

“Where there is skepticism, let it be met with education. If you are one of the thousands of Kentuckians who support medical marijuana, join us. We need your voice,” Grimes said. “Call, write, send a Facebook message, tweet to your legislators. Let no more time be wasted. Tell them you expect action in this session.”

The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine reports that opioid overdose deaths have fallen by 25 percent in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

In Kentucky, where the 2014 veteran suicide was 10 percent higher than the national average, many veterans say that medical cannabis is the most effective treatment for chronic pain and PTSD. Several veterans attended Wednesday’s announcement.

Besides PTSD, significant evidence exists showing medical marijuana counters side effects of many other illnesses and diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and hepatitis C.

Grimes and Sims’ task force includes members of Kentucky’s medical community, including doctors, nurses and medical administrators, as well as representatives from law enforcement and state agencies with regulatory oversight, medical marijuana advocates, and military veterans.

“House Bill 166 is the best bill in the United States of America for medical cannabis,” said Sims. “There have been hours, weeks, and months spent on this bill to make it the gold standard. This about improving the health of Kentuckians.”

Rep. Al Gentry is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Office of the Secretary of State

Related Posts

16 Comments

  1. Ann Robinson says:

    Great. Doesn’t Kentucky have a big enough drug problem already? Why in the world would we go from opioids to marijuana? Aren’t we trying to break the cycle?

    • Kim Wonders says:

      Ann, if you lived in extreme pain where you scream out from the pain you would understand that marijuana is the only thing that works. We need to focus on those who need medical help and not block them from getting help because of people who abuse. Please support HB 166.

    • First of all marijuana in not a drug you really need to get your facts straight and we as people should have a choice not to be hooked to opioids pills they are damaging to the brain and cause more problems weed aka marijuana is a natural it grows naturally opioids are chemicals put together man made marijuana is not and helps with cancer, to lessen the pain little kids that have hundreds of seizures everyday and a lot more things what does opioids cause more problems like addiction and hard as hell to get clean off the opioids marijuana no problem to get off of it where do you have the nerve saying what you say

    • Angela Helfrich says:

      How can you compare a natural herbal supplement that can’t be overdosed on, has no where near the habit forming significance as METH, HEROIN, and alcohol. Opiates are fda regulated and dispensed so frequently that they have generic versions so everybody can afford the addiction. How about some government funded rehabilitation that your insurance can and does cover, where you can be given regular doses of METHADONE. Which is made by pharmaceutical companies wanting to make money from people coming and going. But wait…. let’s just simplify this for the world by answering a few easy questions.
      1.) Has anyone EVER overdosed and died from smoking marijuana?
      2.) What withdrawal symptoms do people get when no longer using marijuana?
      3.) Does marijuana. Need to be processed to be used?
      4.) Is there proof of beneficial improvement from its use?
      5.) Will it generate revenue through taxation that can be used by the state to relieve pension benefits, school improvement, road improvement and money to fund programs for special needs people (whom, by the way are using Medical Marijuana to live a better and much fuller life than they would be without it.)
      Now, based on your answers, rethink the HB

  2. Candy Burden says:

    I think its great that Ky. has finally going pass a bill that will help people who have chronic pain and don’t want to take opiates

  3. Smart guy says:

    If marijuana was legal there wouldn’t be an opioid epidemic. Marijuana naturally treats what opioids are man made to do. The difference is you have 100s of thousands of people becoming addicted and dying from opioids. You only die of thirst or hunger from marijuana.

  4. TassyHimself13 says:

    Ann Robinson: sweetheart, were you born in the flippin’ 1930’s… please research, with an unbiased perspective if @ all possible, the side effects of marijuana when compared to DRUGS.
    See, there’s your 1st mistake. You hold all drugs in 1 category (i assume the glass or bottle of wine you drink every night is okay, then, as is your pack of Marlboro’s or that juiced up, caffeine-loaded coffee you drink every morning. THEY’RE ALL DRUGS, and this is not new news, so.. that’s all i have there.
    2nd, please read some of the statistics cited below… states who have done this have reduced their opioid death rates by an average of 25%!!! That alone, m’am, is compelling enough evidence to try alot more risky ventures than the legalization of pot. It just took Kentucky this long to get with the program!
    Amongst Vets, its said to be one of the best treatments for anxiety and PTSD.. this is coming from soldiers, shot in the line of duty, in a country where a Veteran kills him/herself every 22 seconds.
    Ms. Robinson, please understand that the ONLY reason marijuana was ever made illegal was.due to the direct threat it posed to the 1920’s/1930’s timber industry. However, at that time, cocaine, opium, and heroin were sold over the counter at drug stores!!!
    They did the same thing with alcohol. As soon as the Gov’t found a way to make $ off of it, though.. POOF!! Its fine now!! The exact same thing is happening now. There’s no good reason to have marijuana illegal other than the fact that Big Brother hasn’t found his way into that pie yet.. looks like, monetarily speaking, he’s about to though. THEN, you’ll see how full of shit this has always been!!!
    But here’s where i’ll end. You’ve made countless misinterpretations and/or are flat out incorrect about EVERYTHING you seem to think regarding marijuana. Unfortunately for you, there’s enough scholarly literature to debunk all of your opinionated, outdated, innaccurate nonsense! I mean, you literally put marijuana and Heroin in the same category?… OR EVEN THE SAME PLAYING FIELD?!!..
    It’s 2018 Ms. Robinson. If you don’t like the 2nd Amendment, don’t buy a damn gun. You dont like people being able to protest publicly, I’d say keep your ass home watching Jeopardy. If you personally get 0 benefits from THC, then simply DO NOT USE IT!
    But whatever you do, get up to date on the facts please. If you want to keep watching people OD on illicit drugs (i’ve had 7 friends OD on heroin since 2010, the latest was 8 weeks ago, and he was 28!). Pot doesn’t do that dear.. as a matter of fact, all stidies are showing the polar opposite.
    But this was never meant to change your mind.. simply to enlighten you, share my views, and politely ask you to join us in 2018!!! You know, quite recently, our Supreme Court ruled Separate WAS Equal regarding segregation in schools. That’s how the Opinion of Brown v. Board 1 was written. Just because the gov’t had a problem with integration, didnt make the reverse decision in Brown v. Board 2 incorrect. THEY WERE ADVANCING WITH THE TIMES AND MAKING BETTER LETIGIOUS DECISIONS BASED ON THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION THEY HAD.
    Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin, etc… you cannot justify ANY of these OTC medications being legal while holding your view on cannibas, without being a hypocrite.
    Happy reading…

  5. TassyHimself13 says:

    It should be JUST like alcohol… you can’t get high as a kite and drive, it SHOULD NOT disqualify people from employment, and the age should ne 18, not 21!! These kids get recruited to run toward 7.62X3.39 enemy fire, but they can’t come home and have a puff off of a joint, or be served a beer!! Some things SOUND wrong because they ARE wrong. Lets all make 2018 the year we mind our own fucking business and stop trying to dictate the quality of other people’s lives..
    If you can’t respect that, go bury your head in sand until you become fluent in Korean or whatever. I’ll bet you find that system working wonderds, don’t you Ms. Robinson?..

  6. Leon gatlin says:

    I’ve been reading the pros and cons of Marijuana and the pros outride the cons greatly ” I have stage 4 small cell lung cancer and I’ve had 27 treatments of chemo and 10 treatment of radiation ” I’ve been following several people I. Legalized states and they swear by the cure of small amount ps of RSO and its outcome towers the dreaded disease // let’s give it a chance please “

  7. Kefka says:

    Name one person who has died from Marijuana use. Now do the same for alcohol, tobacco, rx pain killers.
    The answer is easy for marijuana…..ZERO
    As for the rest, you will be typing a long time.
    It’s time to wake up and realize that marijuana is a plant that cures and not harmful like the police and other uneducated people believe it is.
    I pray Kentuckians will support this bill and do what’s right for the people.
    Go Big Blue

  8. Matt says:

    Marijuana would be the best thing that ever happened to Kentucky if this passes. But people that are uneducated on the subject such as “Ann” is why we all need to get out there a support this bill as much as we can! Ther are tons of benefits of legalizing marijuana, a lot more positives than negatives. The only reason why it was out lawed to begin with was taxes same as alcohol. But what’s funny is Kentucky will support ther bourbons but not marijuana? LMAO sounds a little crazy to me. Also ther acting like thers not been enough research on marijuana but everything they have learned so far has told us marijuana is basically a miracle plant. I believe if ther was something really bad about marijuana we would know of it by now. it should be left up to the American people anyways, An the gov. not make a decision for us, an a dumb one at that.

  9. Lynn says:

    Hmmm would Matt Bevin rather ther be more jobs an more money in taxes for the state an a new cash crop for Kentuckians (since they Fd the tobacco growers already) an help Kentuckians in pain An suffering? Or would matt Bevin rather see jobless, broke, an hungry Kentuckians suffering in pain? I’m sorry but he would have to be a dumbass to not be able to figure this one out lol but I hate to say it I don’t have any faith in the Kentucky government to want to help make Kentucky a better state for the people. But I guess we will find out.

  10. Mark Conard says:

    Great. Doesn’t Kentucky have a big enough drug problem already? Why in the world would we go from opioids to marijuana? Aren’t we trying to break the cycle? THAT IS A STATEMENT FROM AN UNEDUCATED PERSON AS FAR AS MARIJUANA GOES….. IT FIGHTS THE OPIOD EPIDEMIC HONEY, NOW GO SCRATCH YOUR HEAD AND TRY TO FIGURE THAT ONE OUT !! MARIJUANA FIGHTS PAIN, CANCER, PTSD, ALZHEIMER’S, HEP C, CHRONIC PAIN, WASTING DISEASE, NAUSEA, EPILEPSY, AND FAR TO MUCH TO LIST HERE… BUT THE MAIN THING IS THAT IT KILLS 14 TYPES OF CANCER, AND PREVENTS, YES PREVENTS 11 MORE TYPES OF CANCER !!! IT CAN HELP AN ALZHEIMER’S PATIENT REMEMBER WHO THEY ARE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE !!! THIS IS A VERY USEFUL, SAFE, AND EFFECTIVE DRUG THAT THE PHARMA GROUPS HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR YEARS TO KEEP ILLEGAL !!! IT WILL DRAIN AWAY THERI BIG PROPHETS AND SHOW HOW THEY HAVE KEPT A CURE AWAY FROM US ON PURPOSE !!! YOU GO KENTUCKY, NOW I MAY NOT HAVE TO MOVE TO NEW MEXICO WHERE THE MARIJUANA CARD IS FREE TO GET WITH A DOCTORS SIGNATURE, AND SO IS THE GROW LICENSE IF YOU ARE LOW INCOME, AND YOU CAN GROW UP TO 16 PLANTS WITH 4 FLOWERING AT ONE TIME !!! WISH THEY WOULD DO THAT HERE !! FOR GODS SAKE I WISH THEY WOULD FINALLY PASS A RECREATIONAL BILL AND MAKE THE STATE COFFERS FULL INSTEAD OF EMPTY LIKE THEY ARE NOW !!!!

  11. Mark Conard says:

    I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT IT ALSO HELPS WITH GLAUCOMA WHICH I HAVE AND WHY I AM USING CAPS !! SORRY FOR THAT, ALSO I MADE A TYPO, IT SHOULD SAY, IT WILL DRAIN AWAY THEIR BIG PROFITS….. MARIJUANA HAS BEEN KNOWN TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS A USEFUL DRUG SINCE THE 1930’S BUT DUE TO POLITICAL PRESSURE AND WEALTHY CITIZENS SUCH AS WILLIAM RANDOLPH HURST, IT WAS OUTLAWED IN ORDER TO FURTHER THE PREJUDICE AGAINST BLACKS AND LATINOS WHO USED IT MOST AT THAT TIME…. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS LIED ABOUT IT SINCE THEN AND STILL TODAY !!!

  12. Brandon says:

    Broken femur was on heavy OXYCODONE dose. After a yr side effects worse and efficacy of drug worse. I’ve been off of opioids since Nov 18th 2017 and thank CBD oil for that. It isn’t a direct replacement but it makes life manageable. If we had medical Marijuana it would work out much better. So when I decided to go above cbd and use Marijuana I risk becoming a criminal, losing job, looking taboo for going something illegal when it should of been legal 10x over since alcohol is legal. It is time now!

Leave a Comment