Gov. Andy Beshear took motion Tuesday to permit Kentuckians affected by debilitating situations to own small quantities of medical marijuana legally bought in one other state.
The Democratic governor signed an government order to calm down the state’s prohibition on medical marijuana, however mentioned it is no substitute for outright legalization, which requires legislative approval.
“These are actions that I can take as governor to supply entry to medical marijuana and aid to those that want it to higher take pleasure in their life with out ache,” Beshear mentioned at a information convention. He touted medical marijuana as an alternative choice to addictive opioid drugs.
His unilateral motion introduced a fast and strongly worded response from the state’s Republican legal professional common, Daniel Cameron. He mentioned the motion mirrored the governor’s method to governing: “As at all times, he appears to relish ruling by decree as a substitute of by the legislation.”
“Kentucky’s General Assembly is the only real and ultimate policy-making physique of this state and so they have to be allowed to have their say,” Cameron mentioned in a press release. “We are reviewing these government orders to find out subsequent steps.”
Cameron is amongst a number of Republicans vying to problem Beshear in subsequent 12 months’s gubernatorial election, when the Democrat will search a second time period.
The governor’s government order is about to take impact on Jan. 1, 2023. It permits Kentuckians to own and use small quantities of medical marijuana to deal with particular situations, offered it’s bought legally in different states.
The quantity couldn’t exceed 8 ounces — the distinction between a misdemeanor and a felony beneath Kentucky legislation, the governor mentioned. A Kentuckian must receive a certification from a licensed well being care supplier, he mentioned, to confirm a analysis for no less than one in all 21 medical situations. Those embrace most cancers, a number of sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Beshear referred to as it a “measured step to assist these which might be struggling,” whereas making certain they buy the medical marijuana from a “protected and dependable place.” He mentioned nobody ought to “really feel like a felony” when legally buying medical marijuana from different states and utilizing it in one other.
“Kentuckians are leaving this state to entry medical marijuana, a few of them leaving this state for good to go to a spot the place medical marijuana is authorized,” the governor mentioned. “They need to have the ability to return to the commonwealth if they will with out breaking the legislation.”
The governor says legalizing medical marijuana has overwhelming assist amongst Kentuckians. He shaped an advisory committee that spent months gathering public enter earlier than he took motion.
He first floated the opportunity of government motion on the problem within the spring, after a medical marijuana legalization bill once more died within the state’s Republican-dominated legislature. The measure handed the House however stalled within the Senate. Beshear mentioned Tuesday that he’ll proceed urging lawmakers to do the “proper and crucial factor” by absolutely legalizing medical marijuana.