Former state Attorney General Andy Beshear narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Matt Bevins on November 5, 2019.
Holds office Governor
KENTUCKY COULD DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA USE (Link)
Two other bills have been pre-filed in Kentucky, that would decriminalize marijuana. Something the governor, as the former attorney general of the state, supports.
The bills say “that nobody should go to jail for using marijuana,” explained the governor. “I agree with that. . . We need better methods than arrest and incarceration.”
The bills pre-filed by Rep. Nima Kulkarni, a Democrat from Louisville, stop short of legalizing recreational use.
“We also, in the future, should at least be open to conversations on the recreational side. But what I am advocating in this session is medicinal," said Gov. Beshear.
GOV. BESHEAR: MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS THE FUTURE (Link)
In 2020, Kentucky appeared to be on track to pass legislation that would legalize medical marijuana. A bill to do so had passed the House and was slated for consideration in the Senate when the pandemic cut the legislative session short.
It is expected that a similar bill will be filed ahead of the 2022 session.
"This is the future. It is where things are going,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky should definitely move forward with medical marijuana.”
The governor went on to say, the law change would allow people who might otherwise turn to more damaging substances to use the drug. That comment comes on the heels of the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses involving Fentanyl in the United States.
However, the governor is clear. The right legislation would need to ensure the industry is set up and regulated in a way that leads to a win not a loss for the state as a whole.
“We have to have the right structure to make sure it is not abused here in Kentucky; that it is actually prescribed for medical purposes,” expanded Gov. Beshear.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Beshear acknowledged: “I support placing medical marijuana legalization on the ballot as a constitutional amendment and would vote in its favor. I would vote for it because I’ve seen the impact opioids have had on every Kentucky community. So many Kentucky families have seen a loved one fall into addiction, and their lives have been devastated. If medical marijuana is an alternative and gives people the chance to get pain relief without being subjected to opioids, I think it’s something we’ve got to explore.” (Link) 2019
"It’s time for the General Assembly to legalize medicinal marijuana. The people of Kentucky strongly support joining the 37 other states that have done so." (3/25/22)
"Polling suggests 90% of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis, while at the same time, far too many in our state who could benefit from it are suffering. It is simply time that something more is done," said Gov. Beshear. "I want to make sure every voice is heard as I am weighing executive action that could provide access to medical cannabis in the commonwealth." (6/14/22)
"I support placing medical marijuana legalization on the ballot as a constitutional amendment and would vote in its favor. I would vote for it because I've seen the impact opioids have had on every Kentucky community. So many Kentucky families have seen a loved one fall into addiction, and their lives have been devastated. If medical marijuana is an alternative and gives people the chance to get pain relief without being subjected to opioids, I think it's something we've got to explore." (1/1/19)
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