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Considering the legalization of medical marijuana: Schickel heads bipartisan panel to look into issue

Sen. John Schickel, chair of the state Senate Standing Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations, has announced that a bipartisan panel of state legislators will meet this summer to hear the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

The panel, known as the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations, will tackle the issue during its July gathering. The meeting is open to the public and will take place at 10 a.m. on July 8 in the Capitol Annex, Room 129.

Schickel said a bill on the legalization of marijuana was one of the more controversial measures assigned to his committee during the 2016 Regular Session.

John Schickel

John Schickel

The legislation, known as Senate Bill 13, would have regulated the cultivation, testing, processing, taxing and sale of marijuana to people 21 and over.
“I received 20 to 40 telephone calls, emails and tweets per day on SB 13,” said Schickel, R-Union. “Overwhelmingly the messages were in support for the legalization of marijuana. For this reason it is important that we thoroughly vet this important issue before the 2017 legislative session.” 

The preliminary agenda includes presentations by law enforcement, medical marijuana advocates and the scientific community. Dr. Gregory Barnes of the University of Louisville medical school is scheduled to talk about research into the use of cannabidiol, known as CBD, to treat epileptic seizures in children.

Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana, will speak about using cannabis to treat his multiple sclerosis. Representatives of the Kentucky Medical Association and law enforcement community are also set to give presentations.

Tom Hewlett, committee staff administrator for Licensing and Occupations, will manage the agenda. He can be contacted by phone at 502-564-8100 or by email at Tom.Hewlett@lrc.ky.gov.
While SB 13 never made it to the Senate floor for a vote, Schickel said the issue remains relevant and that legislators want to further research the issue prior to the start of next year’s session in January.
There will be a sign-in sheet for people who would like to speak at the interim joint committee hearing in July.

People who would like to submit material for consideration by the committee must provide 60 copies in advance to: Legislative Research Commission; Licensing & Occupations, Capitol Annex Room 18; 702 Capitol Ave.; Frankfort, KY 40601.

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  1. Wesley Doughman says:

    Twenty four states and The District of Columbia has passed Medical Marijuana legislation. Expert after expert and patient after patient has testified in front of committees Kentucky House of Representatives and Kentucky Senate. Let’s take the best from the 25 laws, already in existence, and have the best Medical Marijuana legislation, in this country.

  2. Thomas Vance says:

    A Kentucky Legislator is saying she is sorry she could not get a bill to regulate drones done during this latest session of the Kentucky General Assembly!
    I wonder if they are as sorry about the 250 Kentucky deaths that would not happen if they had passed a cannabis bill? The Assembly could have prevented 250 Kentucky deaths a year by passing a cannabis bill and they chose not to.

    Failure to do so guarantees the deaths of 250 of our citizens during the next year. Simply passing a medical cannabis bill engenders a 25% drop in opioid drug overdose deaths as reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association! These people will die without passage.

    Is saving 250 Kentucky lives good enough for a special assembly to pass a bill?
    If not then, shame, shame ,shame on the Assembly to let this go on.
    I am calling for a special assembly to address saving these lives! Are their lives worth it? The Assembly has the answer!

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