Kentucky House Adopts Resolution in Support of Faster Research on Medical Marijuana

A resolution asking federal regulators to speed up their research on medical marijuana received bipartisan support on Thursday in the Kentucky House.

All Northern Kentucky state representatives voted in favor of the resolution, including co-sponsor Rep. Kim Moser (R-Taylor Mill).

House Concurrent Resolution 5 sponsor Rep. Danny Bentley (R-Russell) said his resolution would serve as an official request from the Kentucky General Assembly for more federal research into the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. Some federal study is already underway, he said.

“There has been a study OK’d (at the federal level) at Yale University in the med school. It is a Phase I study – the marijuana will be produced in the United States,” said Bentley. “I think that is a big step forward, because in our resolution here we ask those institutions to do this. We haven’t been doing this in vain.”

HCR 5 differs from similar resolutions filed by Bentley in past sessions that would have made legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky dependent on more federal study. Bentley said HCR 5 isn’t tied to any current medical marijuana proposals in the General Assembly including HB 136, sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) and Rep. John Sims Jr. (D-Flemingsburg).

Nemes voted in support of the resolution and what he said he sees as its call for safety and efficacy while adding that HCR 5 “in no way—in my view—is a delay on the necessity that we pass medical marijuana this session.”

Thirty three states have legalized medical marijuana. The substance remains an illegal controlled substance under federal law, however.

HCR 5 passed the House 89-2 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

From the Legislative Research Commission

Photo: Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, presenting HCR 5 for a vote before the full House (LRC)