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US (KY): MMJ bill gains passage in KY senate

The Kentucky Senate crossed a historic threshold in voting to pass a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Senate Bill 47 coasted through that chamber in a 26-11 vote. The bill, which would legalize the substance with several restrictions, is sponsored by Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris. The measure had passed in the House in previous years, and it’s widely believed that the support to pass the bill is still there in that chamber. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has called for the passage of a similar bill for years.

Earlier this year, Beshear signed an executive order to allow Kentuckians to use medical marijuana that was legally purchased in other states. If Beshear signs Senate Bill 47, Kentucky will join more than half of all states in legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. Chief among the restrictions in Senate Bill 47 is that users are not allowed to smoke the substance. Further, it would not be accessible until 2025.

“This is one of those issues where you take out the ledger, and you list the pros and cons. It’s a long list on both sides, but for me personally, the pros outweigh the cons,” West said. West joined several Senators, those voting yes and no, who commended the longtime advocates for the bill like Eric Crawford, a quadriplegic man who uses medical marijuana, for their persistence.

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