Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee releases results

Governor Andy Beshear's Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee released their findings Friday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – New data is suggesting that Kentuckians overwhelmingly support the legalization of medical marijuana here in the Bluegrass.

Governor Andy Beshear’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee released their findings Friday. The committee traveled the state over the summer after Gov. Beshear said he’d explore what executive actions he might be able to take when legalizing medical marijuana stalled in the state Senate.

The committee traveled the state listening to Kentuckians’ views on the topic. The Governor says the committee’s polling data suggests that 90 percent of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis.

In addition to the town hall meetings, the state’s medical cannabis website also allowed Kentuckians to submit their opinions online. A 17-member board evaluated those comments, where more than 98 percent of feedback was in support of medical legalization, according to the Courier-Journal.

The Cannabis Advisory Committee also held four public meetings over the summer in Campbell, Pike, Franklin, and Christian counties. The Courier-Journal reports more than 150 people attended the meetings, and not one person in attendance showed opposition to legalization.

While medical legalization failed to gain enough support in this last senate session, state lawmakers pushed a Cannabis Research Center at the University of Kentucky as an alternative.

ABC 36 spoke with a medical cannabis researcher at UK, Dr. Shanna Babalonis, on the research possibilities of medical cannabis.

“We would perhaps look at things like patients with cancer. Could medical marijuana help them sleep better? Could it help them function better?” said Dr. Babalonis.

The committee says it did receive some negative feedback–46 replies to be exact. The Courier-Journal reports organizations that provided opposing feedback included the Kentucky Narcotics Association, expressing concerns like the the possibility of products with higher THC levels becoming legal, and suggesting that medical marijuana use be limited to people over 21.

However, the Courier-Journal reports the most common issue among concerned commenters was the possibility of marijuana becoming legal recreationally.

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