Advocates of marijuana legalization in Kentucky have a lot of reasons to be hopeful. Governor Andy Beshear has thrown his support behind medical marijuana legislation. And according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 90% of the state’s residents favor legalizing marijuana for medical purposes; nearly 6 in 10 say it should be legal for any adult to use marijuana.
The approval rates do not vary significantly by political persuasion. For example 95% of Democrats and 90% of Republicans favor medical marijuana legalization.
In addition, 4 in 10 Kentucky adults say they know someone who regularly uses marijuana, according to a report on the poll results. The Kentucky Health Issues Poll is an annual undertaking sponsored by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health.
Over the past 20 years, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and 11 states and D.C. have legalized adult recreational uses of marijuana.
Last year, a medical marijuana bill was approved by a committee of the Kentucky House of Representatives, but was never brought up for a vote before the full House or before the state Senate. Beshear, who was elected Governor last November, is on the record in support of legalizing marijuana for medical uses.
State Representative Jason Nemes, who authored the 2019 medical marijuana bill, has reintroduced similar legislation for consideration in the 2020 legislative session, which began in early January. The new bill has 53 co-sponsors, which should be more than enough votes to ensure passage by that chamber, as the Kentucky House consists of 100 elected members.
“The bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of Americans have access to medical marijuana, and it’s time Kentucky joins that group,” Nemes told the news outlet Kentucky Today. “This is a bill that if it gets on the House floor, it will pass.”
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