Beshear encouraging Kentuckians with a misdemeanor charge for marijuana possession to apply for a pardon

The Governor says he is also analyzing information on how many Kentuckians could be eligible

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday, encouraged Kentuckians who have a misdemeanor charge for simple possession of marijuana to visit the Governor’s website and apply for a pardon. You can find a link to the website here.

The Governor said he was not briefed before President Biden’s decision last week to pardon some federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana, asking states to do the same for state-level charges. The Governor explained that there are differences between federal and state law and said his administration will be taking the time to analyze laws before the next steps are announced.

Gov. Beshear also said he asked the Administrative Office of the Courts for more information on how many Kentuckians could be eligible for a state pardon on a possession-only charge.

“While we’re analyzing this, anybody out there who this is the only thing on their record, go to our website and apply for a pardon,” Gov. Beshear said. “This is how you apply for a pardon here in Kentucky.”

“Let me be clear, I agree that no one should be in jail simply because of possession of marijuana,” Gov. Beshear said.

Beshear also said that in regards to medical cannabis, even though 90% of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis, legislation on medical cannabis failed before the General Assembly in the last session, leaving those suffering from Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, severe and chronic pain, epilepsy and seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions without access to medical cannabis for relief.

“I know the vast majority of Kentuckians demand medical cannabis be legalized, and I am committed to keeping Kentuckians updated as we review the information and make plans to move forward,” said Gov. Beshear.

In April, Beshear outlined steps his administration would take on the topic: analyzing options under the law that the Governor could consider regarding executive action on medical cannabis; establishing a Medical Cannabis Advisory Team; and inviting Kentuckians to communicate with the administration directly, via a designated email.

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