Kentucky government requests information and weighs action on medical cannabis - New Style Motorsport

Gov. Andy Beshear unveiled plans Thursday for a medical marijuana review, signaling that he is considering taking matters into his own hands to legalize medical cannabis in Kentucky.

The Democratic governor said he will seek grassroots input as his legal team explores his possible options for making medical marijuana legally accessible. He made a direct appeal to Kentucky residents to offer his views. He came a week after the latest bill to legalize medical cannabis died in the state Senate after the House passed it. Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers.

“I want to be clear, I am for medical cannabis,” Beshear said at his weekly news conference. “I want it to be done the right way. And we’re going to take a very close look at our legal options. And at the same time, we want to hear from you.”

For much of the pandemic, the governor aggressively exercised his executive powers to order restrictions to try to slow the spread of the virus. Those actions eventually drew a strong pushback from Republican lawmakers, who curtailed the governor’s emergency powers.

A top lawmaker and the attorney general warned Thursday that the governor risked overstepping his authority by taking executive action to unilaterally legalize medical marijuana.

“The General Assembly is the policy-making body of this state, and we have seen the problems that arise when the governor tries to bypass the legislature and make unilateral policy decisions,” Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a statement Thursday.

Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said Kentucky residents should be concerned that the governor “thinks he can change the statute by executive order.”

“He just can’t legalize medical marijuana by executive order; he cannot have a statue replaced by executive order because it is a constitutional violation of the separation of powers,” Stivers said.

Beshear criticized lawmakers for not “getting the job done,” saying he would prefer the legislature pass a measure legalizing medical marijuana. She said such legislation has strong statewide support and that Kentucky has fallen behind most states that have made medical cannabis available as an alternative to opioid medications.

“I think it is my obligation to see what is possible, given the will of the people and their desire to move this forward,” the governor said.

Beshear said he has instructed his office’s legal team to look at potential executive action options that could create a framework for making medical cannabis available to people with certain medical conditions. In other states, she said, people battling Alzheimer’s, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and seizures, and post-traumatic stress disorder can turn to their health care providers for access to medical cannabis to help treat your symptoms.

Beshear said he was setting up a medical cannabis advisory team, which will travel around the state to gather input from the public. Kentucky residents will also be able to express their views directly to the Governor’s office by emailing

The governor said the review will extend over the next few months.

“It has to be done right,” he said. “And I think we have an opportunity to put the right regulatory framework in place where we don’t see abuse. And this gives us the opportunity over the next two months to be thoughtful. But we will seek action and a culmination in some type of action depending on our legal options.”

Cameron later said it would be premature to comment on the validity of any potential executive action on medical marijuana until the governor revealed the details of his intended action.

Before the GOP-led legislature ended its 60-day session last week, lawmakers gave final approval to a bill to create a cannabis research center to study the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions. . It was offered as an alternative to the stalled bill legalizing medical marijuana. The legalization bill would have strictly regulated the use of cannabis for a list of eligible medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, and chronic nausea.

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