Rep. Mary Lou Marzian will file medical marijuana bill in the House

01/27/2014 05:09 PM

State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, will carry the first ever bill in the state House to allow the use of medical marijuana in Kentucky.

Marzian said the bill is still being drafted. She said it would allow Kentuckians with certain medical conditions to have access to cannabis oil and smoked forms of marijuana. While Democratic State Sen. Perry Clark has filed bills allowing medical marijuana for the last two sessions, this is the first time such a measure has been sponsored in the House.

In the first two weeks of this session, both the House and Senate have held information-only hearings on medicinal marijuana. And testimony during those hearings, Marzian said, prompted her to start the process of drafting this bill.

“The testimony has been so compelling from folks throughout the whole state that I think that it’s time that we give people in Kentucky access to something that may help them,” Marzian said. “The data shows that there are very few side effects. And if we can control it and regulate it and make sure that it gets into the right hands and (that) it’s gone through a medical provider, I think it’s beneficial.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told Pure Politics that he was open to discussions and hearings on the use of marijuana for medical purposes in October after he learned of Kentucky children struggling with autism and other disorders who could benefit from marijuana.

Marzian said she has talked with colleagues and Stumbo about the bill and that “people were very open to the idea.”

“We need a lot of education on it, and just getting it out there and hearing the testimony and getting discussion going I think is very important,” Marzian said.

While Marzian said the limit of how many plants someone would be able to own is still up in the air, she did say it would be a “limited” amount.

“We are looking at how limited it would be. How it would be regulated. What department is going to regulate it. How people get prescriptions and get those filled and how that would be paid for. There’s a lot of questions that we need to delve into,” she said.

Twenty states currently regulate and permit marijuana use for medicinal purposes, according to an industry organization .

Clark’s medical marijuana in the Senate — SB 43 has not yet come up for a vote in a committee.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. He is now the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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