Lawmakers and activists convened in Kentucky this week to discuss a pair of proposals that would dramatically change how cannabis is treated in the state, but there remains a divide over how far the reform effort should go.
The biggest question of the moment remains: Will they legalize recreational cannabis, or just medicinal?
Local television station WDRB reported that “state representatives and members of the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition, ACLU and NAACP met Tuesday in support of legalization” in the capital city of Frankfort, with the focus primarily aimed at two bills brought by Democratic state House Representative Nima Kulkarni.
In November, Kulkarni pre-filed two pieces of legislation. One was a proposed constitutional amendment to allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, use and sell as much as an ounce of cannabis (or up to five personal plants) without legal repercussions. If the amendment were to pass, “the question would be added to the November ballot,” according to local television station WLKY.
Kulkarni’s other bill would decriminalize cannabis in the state while also expunging the records of those previously convicted of pot charges.
“I am sponsoring these bills for several reasons, any one of which should be enough for them to become law,” Kulkarni said in a statement after the bills were filed late last year. “First, current cannabis statutes have needlessly and tragically ruined many lives, especially people of color who have suffered because of unequal enforcement. Second, thousands of citizens, from cancer patients to veterans suffering from PTSD, should have the right to use something that gives them the mental and physical relief they deserve without relying on stronger, potentially addictive medicine.
“Third, cannabis decriminalization would