Overwhelming Support For Medical Marijuana In Kentucky

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Medical Marijuana In Kentucky
Image: Khoa Tran

While the U.S. state of Kentucky may be all-in on hemp, medical marijuana is another story. But there’s certainly plenty of call for it.

Medical marijuana is yet to be legalised in the state, although this hasn’t been through a lack of trying. However, cannabidiol derived from industrial hemp (cannabis with not more than 0.3% THC)  is legal assuming it meets the conditions under KRS 218A.010, which state:

“when transferred, dispensed, or administered pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or school of medicine.”

While the state’s lawmakers continue to resist medical marijuana, support among residents to embrace it continues to grow.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) provides a snapshot of Kentuckians’ views on various health related topics. The latest poll was focused on cannabis and found support for medical marijuana among adults in the state increased from 78 percent in 2012 to 90% in late 2019.

As for legalizing marijuana under any circumstances, support rose to 59% (38 percent in 2012) and for recreational purposes, that jumped from 26 percent in 2012 to 49 percent in 2019.

The legalizing of medical marijuana could have a positive impact on the opioid crisis in Kentucky.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse noted last year Kentucky was among the top ten U.S. states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths, which was nearly double the national rate in 2016.

Andy Beshear, who became Kentucky’s Governor late last year is a glimmer of hope.

“I support placing medical marijuana legalization on the ballot as a constitutional amendment and would vote in its favor. I would vote for it because I’ve seen the impact opioids have had on every Kentucky community,” he stated in 2019. “If medical marijuana is an alternative and gives people the chance to get pain relief without being subjected to opioids, I think it’s something we’ve got to explore.”

In other cannabis related news out of Kentucky, the local hemp sector was rocked after U.S. hemp giant GenCanna’s bankruptcy filing last week. While there’s a lot of sympathy for farmers and others left owed money, there doesn’t seem to be much for GenCanna itself.