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Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Kentucky

The Kentucky legislature will be grappling with medical marijuana next year. State Senator Perry Clark (D-Louisville) Monday pre-filed a bill for the 2013 legislative session, saying he wanted to get a head start on building support at the state house.

The bill, next year's Senate Bill 11, would allow patients with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of serious medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, among others. It would also create a network of state-regulated dispensaries. Registered patients and their caretakers could opt to grow their own. The bill specifies that patients or caregivers could possess up to six ounces of marijuana and up to 12 mature and 12 immature plants.

"This is not a conservative issue or a liberal issue; it’s an issue of compassion," said Senator Clark. "Countless studies show that marijuana is effective at treating pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and other symptoms. If it was my family member, I would do anything to relieve their suffering."

The cannabis-friendly Clark -- he has previously introduced bills to legalize industrial hemp and to honor pioneering Kentucky marijuana activist Gatewood Galbraith after his death in January -- took pains to emphasize that this bill is only about medical marijuana.

"This is not about legalizing marijuana," he said. "It's about getting government out of healthcare, and putting science in."

Donna Fox, a patient from Louisville diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, welcomed the news.

"I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age four. I've been living with this disease for 42 years and lost count many years ago as to how many injections I have endured and the thousands of pills I have swallowed," she said. "If medical marijuana, which carries far fewer and less severe side effects, can work then why should I be denied relief? I just want to live a functional life without the pain."

The Kentucky 2013 legislative session begins on January 2. Senator Clark, patients, and advocates will be hard at work lining up support between now and then, and during the session itself.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia. It will be on the November ballot in two more states -- Arkansas and Massachusetts -- and, most likely, a third -- North Dakota.

Lexington, KY
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Many nations are in trouble either directly from the drug war or with serious economic burdens and they are ready to try alternatives. 
Colorado, Oregon and Washington are voting on outright legalization. Should just one state set that precedent, federal and international law will become null and void and then other nations will quickly follow. A positive outcome across the many ballot initiatives will add momentum to the wave of reform that comes next.The whole world will be watching this year to see what happens. There's still time to register to vote. War is Over! 2012!

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No one has ever overdosed on pot, but thousands have on prescription pills, if you don't like it don't do it, but it has helped many people with cancer, like my mother for one, she couldn't eat anything and was losing weight, so I gave her some pot and her apatite came back. No one should suffer because you don't like something ... that is selfish ... at least have a LOGICAL fact based reason.

As for potential opposition

As for potential opposition to the bill from anti-drug legislators, Senator Clark emphasized that the bill would only apply to marijuana for medical purposes. “This is not about legalizing marijuana. It’s about getting government out of healthcare, and putting science in.” Donna Fox, a patient from Louisville diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, welcomed the news. “I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age four. Ive been living with this disease for 42 years and lost count many years ago as to how many injections I have endured and the thousands of pills I have swallowed,” she said. “If medical marijuana, which carries far fewer and less severe side effects, can work then why should I be denied relief? I just want to live a functional life without the pain.” While Clark has acknowledged that finding support in the legislature will take time, popular support is strong. National polling shows that upwards of 70% of voters support medical marijuana laws, and support remains strong even in traditionally conservative states. For example, in Arkansas, where a medical marijuana initiative will appear on the November ballot, polls show that a plurality of voters there would vote in favor of allowing its use. Medical marijuana initiatives will also be on state ballots in Massachusetts and, likely, North Dakota.

Hypocrisy

Medicines for cancer and other serious diseases are very aggressive. Marijuana can help the patients to feel better. Stop hypocrisy.

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Medicines for cancer and other serious diseases are very aggressive. Marijuana can help the patients to feel better. Stop hypocrisy.

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