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Kentucky Governor Calls on Legislature To Push Medical Pot in 2023

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear held a briefing to discuss many of the accomplishments from his past year. Beshear spoke out about his efforts to support patients wanting to use cannabis. “After the General Assembly failed to take action once again, I issued an executive order to allow certain Kentuckians, like veterans suffering from PTSD and those suffering from chronic and terminal conditions like cancer, to access medical cannabis. That order takes effect soon, Jan. 1, 2023,” he said.

Beshear answered questions from members of the media after the briefing was over. Al Cross, who is also a journalist for The Kentucky School of Journalism and Media, was a professor at University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media. Northern Kentucky TribuneQuestioned about lack of accessibility for patients seeking medical marijuana.

“The executive order isn’t going to make it convenient for anyone on the medical marijuana front. What it will ensure is that they’re not a criminal,” Beshear said. “And that’s the limitations that I have in executive power and the limitations that other states have set if we don’t have our own full program. And it’s why it’s so important that the legislature go ahead and pass medical marijuana.”

Beshear said that his administration was working to create regulations for Delta-8 products. This has been recently declared legal by a Northern Kentucky Circuit judge. The legislature must also do their part by adopting a state-wide medical marijuana program, he said.

“I want our people to be able to get it close to home, I don’t want them to have to drive to Illinois. That takes an act of the legislature,” Beshear said. “I am the first to admit the executive order is imperfect because the legislature should have done this a long time ago, but it’s also fluent. We can make any changes that are possible by issuing another executive order.

Beshear mentioned that soon there will be a “palm card” issued to law enforcement next week to educate them about what the executive order accomplishes. “Also the palm card for law enforcement will be out there by Jan. 4. First, it is very simple,” Beshear briefly explained. “But just talking to the Mothers for Medical Marijuana the other day, [the] executive order is a step they find exciting and provides some comfort that they won’t be prosecuted, but it’s not the answer. But I do hope it provides pressure.”

According to WHAS11 Beshear said that the palm card was a tool for law enforcement. It includes a receipt showing where a product has been purchased.

Kentucky Moms for Medical Cannabis (KY NORML) recently visited the Kentucky capitol to hang more than 350 photographs of patients suffering from chronic illnesses who could benefit from medical cannabis. Beshear visited this exhibit to meet those advocates on December 28. “Many Kentuckians with chronic pain are suffering and searching for relief. Today I visited with Moms for Cannabis, advocates who are looking for health solutions that don’t sacrifice quality of life—something medical cannabis can deliver,” Beshear wrote on Twitter

Kentucky Moms for Medical Cannabis’ Julie Cantwell hopes that the legislature will act in 2023. “Year after year, we’re overlooked, and this year we’re hoping that the legislature is going to pass a medical cannabis bill,” Cantwell told WYMT. “So, a lot of these people you see on the wall can’t make it to Frankfort, so we’re bringing the people to Frankfort.”