Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear used an executive order Tuesday to legalize the drug for Kentuckians with 21 “serious” health conditions, ending the commonwealth’s ban on the drug. The catch is that marijuana must be sold legally outside the state.
“Kentuckians with chronic and terminal illnesses can now get the treatment they need without fear of error,” Beshear said. in reporting. “With 37 states legalizing medical marijuana and 90% of Kentucky adults supporting it, I’m doing what I can to provide opportunities and help to those who meet certain situation and want their lives to be better without pain.”
Under the executive order, Kentuckians with diabetes, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute and chronic pain and 17 other illnesses will be allowed to take up to eight ounce of medical marijuana starting January 1, 2023. However, marijuana must be “legally sold” in the United States, “but outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” meaning Kentuckians must still leave the government to get medical drugs.
Beshear said a guide is being developed for law enforcement to determine who will be able to pass without qualifications. Kentuckians must keep their receipts after purchasing a prescription drug from another state and provide proof from their health care provider that they are suffering from one of 21 medical conditions.
Medical marijuana is legal in nearly every state in Kentucky except for Indiana and Tennessee. Some of the neighboring states – Illinois, Missouri and Virginia – have legalized recreational drugs.
Beshear issued his executive order to try to give Kentuckians suffering from pain an alternative to opioids, which claimed more than 2,200 lives in the commonwealth last year.
At the press conference, Beshear also said there are limits to his powers, which could make some people think he didn’t go far with Tuesday’s order, as he thinks other people have gone too far. . However, he said he believes the move is a balanced one.
“What we are trying to do is measure, help those who are in trouble, and make sure that they can buy in a safe and reliable place, and in the end no one cares a criminal they can buy illegally in one of our neighbors. and say and use another,” he said.
The move comes after several attempts to pass prescription drug bills through Kentucky’s largest Republican legislature in recent years.
In the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly, Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville, proposed a restrictive, 138-page law that would allow non-smoking drugs for certain conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. . , nausea or vomiting, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It passed the state Senate, but was not considered in the House.
He introduced a similar bill in the 2020 session, with similar results.
In April, about a month after the 2022 General Assembly ends, Beshear released a four-step plan he says will move the state to legalize marijuana. Medicine.
As part of the plan, he said he consulted with his general counsel, who will weigh the options for regulatory action on the legalization of the medicinal drug.
A second executive order signed by Beshear on Tuesday brings Delta 8, a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants sold directly in Kentucky, under state law.
At a news conference Tuesday, the governor reiterated that the executive orders are not a substitute for passing laws to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky. To try to achieve a broader mandate, Beshear said he will try to work with the state legislature in its next session, which begins in January.
“It’s about the people,” he said. “For the people who are suffering. And I hope that we can give them this kind of life, if they have the opportunity, until a law is passed. But I hope that the law will provide a life to more people than the executive order. Here you have to go on, you have to fulfill certain conditions.”
On Twitter, the Attorney General of the Republic of Kentucky Daniel Cameron said: “Time and time again, the governor has tried to avoid the policy-making authority of the General Assembly. The orders of the directors of today’s drug deal with Delta 8 is another example of his way of thinking…Traditionally, he likes to rule according to the law rather than the law.”
Cameron is running for governor next year and has been endorsed by former president Donald Trump.
Beshear’s press conference on Tuesday was Jeremy Bonvell, identified as an Air Force veteran from Northern Kentucky who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Before he started using marijuana, Bonvell said he was on 13 medications that seemed ineffective and thought he had two to three years left to live as his health declined. He says marijuana changed his life.
“I know veterans who have gotten off heroin, meth, and any other drug you can think of, and have turned their lives around with the right use of medical marijuana,” he said. “For me it is a wonderful medicine. I would never call it a cure; a plant.”
To read Beshear’s prescription for drug addiction, it contains a list of 21 medical conditions that cover, click here.
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