Grimes: Voters will remember lawmakers who ignore medical marijuana issue

03/14/2018 01:46 PM

FRANKFORT — As the House Judiciary Committee stalled on hearing a bill allowing the medical use of marijuana for certain qualifying conditions, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes warns lawmakers to ignore the issue at their own peril.

Grimes, D-Kentucky, placed the blame at the feet of House Judiciary chair Joe Fischer, R-Campbell, in a tweet sent Wednesday afternoon. Grimes said while the bill stalled thanks to Fischer’s non-action in committee.

The Secretary of State sees the most progress a marijuana bill has made in the legislature thus far — but warned that lawmaker opposing the bill would lose at the ballot box.

“I know the legislation is right, but the makeup of Frankfort must change,” Grimes said in a statement. “In November, voters will remember the lawmakers who ignore the pleas of ailing Kentuckians.”

Grimes has been working with House Bill 166 sponsor, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, in an effort to find legislation that patients, advocates and lawmakers can agree on.

“While House Bill 166 stalled today because of Chairman Fischer’s failure to call it for a vote, our advocacy continues,” Grimes told supporters on Wednesday. “We have made more progress on medical cannabis in this session than ever before, but we will not stop until it becomes legal in Kentucky.”

“We will not accept defeat as the final answer for medical cannabis because there are far too many Kentuckians suffering,” she continued. “They are veterans with PTSD, people with cancer, children with severe epilepsy and moms battling Parkinson’s. Medical cannabis can provide revenue our state desperately needs, be an antidote to our opioid epidemic, and help save lives.”

Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, told Pure Politics on Tuesday that he has worked with the bill sponsor and made tweaks to the legislation — he feels the votes are there in the House to pass the bill — if leadership allows it to be called.

Grimes is term-limited as Secretary of State, and has not announced her future political plans.

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