Everything you need to know about medical marijuana in KY

In this Friday, March 22, 2019 file photo, an employee at a medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., sorts buds into prescription bottles. Here’s your guide to using accessing medical marijuana in Kentucky. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

In this Friday, March 22, 2019 file photo, an employee at a medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., sorts buds into prescription bottles. Here’s your guide to using accessing medical marijuana in Kentucky. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

AP

Kentucky’s political leaders are rapidly moving to expand access to medical marijuana to those who have debilitating health conditions, like chronic pain, epilepsy and more.

In a matter of months, the governor has rolled out an executive order and lawmakers in the General Assembly have also passed a law that will eventually establish a medical cannabis program in the commonwealth.

Here’s a review of where medical marijuana stands in Kentucky and a guide to our coverage to help you navigate the legalities of medical marijuana, including who qualifies to use it and what requirements you must meet.

New KY law will usher in medical cannabis cards by 2025

By 2025, residents of Kentucky will be able to apply for and carry a medical marijuana card, provided they have a qualifying medical condition certified by a doctor.

That’s due to new legislation passed by Kentucky’s GOP-dominated legislature and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who’s been an advocate for medical marijuana since early in his term.

Still, the law has some caveats, chief of which is cardholders are not allowed to use marijuana by smoking it.

Senate Bill 47 overcame opposition from some Republican holdouts concerned it would expose impressionable children to marijuana and potentially put Kentucky on the path toward recreational legalization. But the bill’s supporters disagreed, arguing it provides oversight and could address the state’s problems with opioid addiction.

“One of the prime reasons I sponsored this bill and moved it along is addiction,” said Republican state Sen. Stephen West, of Paris. “Other states who have this option have seen not only a 20-30% reduction in opioid use, but also a 20-30% reduction in drug addiction.”

For a deeper-dive into Kentucky’s new medical marijuana law, you can find our full story here.

Executive order grants limited access to medical marijuana

Kentuckians eligible for medical marijuana won’t be able to purchase it in-state until the new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

In the meantime, an executive order from Kentucky’s governor that allows state residents to travel and purchase small amounts of medical cannabis will remain in effect.

Beshear’s order lays out several requirements, including that the person must be able to prove they have at least one of 21 qualifying medical conditions, like cancer, chronic pain and terminal illnesses, among others.

In an interview with the Herald-Leader, Beshear noted, “all you have to do to qualify under the order from the certification piece is to have a doctor certify that you have epilepsy or Parkinson’s or Crohn’s disease or multiple sclerosis” or any of the other listed conditions.

You can find the full list of qualifying conditions under the executive order here.

For more about how the executive order works and what it means for Kentuckians, check out this story.

How does KY compare to other states where weed is legal?

Public opinion polling suggests that 90% of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis, and at least 37 other states and the District of Columbia have laws that permit marijuana for medicinal purposes.

But the list of states that allow adults to use marijuana outside of medicinal purposes is growing.

To read about how Kentucky stacks up to other states, read this story.

We want your marijuana questions

Kentuckians have a lot of questions about access to medical marijuana and the future of recreational marijuana in the state.

We’d like your questions to inform our reporting and coverage. Use the form below to send them in, or you can email ask@herald-leader.com.

Prior to the passage of S.B. 47, we rounded up some preliminary answers for you in a story you can read here.

Aaron Mudd is a service journalism reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Centre Daily Times and Belleville News-Democrat. He is based at the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky.
Support my work with a digital subscription


Read more here: Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *