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

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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

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7 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

  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?..

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