Kentucky Medical Marijuana Legislation Will Be Patient-Centered, Grimes Says
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday initiated discussions about Kentucky medical marijuana legislation with a panel of experts and advocates in Frankfort. Grimes announced the effort last week.
"I came to Frankfort to help people, and there are thousands of Kentuckians who need and are begging for medical marijuana to help ease their pain," said Grimes. "Today's discussions were productive and informative, and we heard more from the very people medical cannabis has and will benefit. We're here so that Kentucky's medical cannabis legislation will be patient-centered. It shouldn't be anything less."
The group 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.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana and a member of Grimes' panel, suffers from multiple sclerosis. He has been lobbying Kentucky legislators for legalizing medical cannabis for several years.
"Kentucky has the opportunity to have gold standard legislation on medical cannabis," said Montalvo. "This issue is about compassion for patients. For the people who live in pain every single day. My life depends on it and so many more. We have to get this done."
State Rep. John Sims, who will sponsor medical marijuana legislation in the 2018 legislative session, is co-chairing the effort with Grimes.
"The outpouring of support we've seen so far on this issue is very encouraging. There is no doubt in my mind medical marijuana would change the lives of so many Kentuckians for the better," said Sims. "I am convinced that together this group will produce a piece of legislation that everyone can endorse and eventually vote for. This is about improving the health of Kentuckians who are suffering every day. It's a no-brainer to me."
Significant evidence exists showing marijuana counters side effects of a large number of illnesses and diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Crohn's disease, hepatitis C, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
From the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office