Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is convening a task force of Kentuckians to focus on a legislative proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, Grimes announced Wednesday. The group will also study and propose potential implementation and regulation processes.
"Too many Kentuckians are suffering from debilitating physical and mental illnesses. Most have lived with the effects of these illnesses for years. We must do more to relieve their pain and suffering, and there is significant evidence that cannabis is beneficial for these individuals, especially veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress," Grimes said. "2018 is and must be the year when Kentucky finally steps up on medical marijuana. We have to get this done to help Kentuckians who are hurting."
The task force will include members of Kentucky's medical community, including doctors, nurses and medical administrators, as well as representatives from law enforcement and state agencies with regulatory oversight, medical marijuana advocates, and military veterans.
State Rep. John Sims, who is crafting medical marijuana legislation for the 2018 legislative session, will co-chair the task force with Grimes.
"Kentucky is getting left behind on this issue. Already 29 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana legislation to help their people," Sims said. "The research is done. The studies have been conducted. It works, and it's time we end our idling and start having conversations to bring medical marijuana to the Commonwealth. Working together, I'm confident we make this happen in a meaningful and bipartisan manner to bring relief to ailing Kentuckians."
Significant evidence exists showing marijuana counters side effects of a large number of illnesses and diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Crohn's disease, hepatitis C, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Recent surveys show wide support among Kentuckians for legalizing marijuana for medical uses.
The task force will meet next week in Frankfort.
(provided by Kentucky Secretary of State)