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Stoner Symphony

Pressure Mounts on Kentucky Governor for Cannabis Decriminalization


Kentucky’s Governor, Andy Beshear, has come under pressure from cannabis activists to push through a bill that would decriminalise small amounts of cannabis.

The state became the 38th in the US to legalise medical cannabis last year after the Governor signed House Bill 47 into law.

However, the bill is not due to come into effect until January 2025, and it has been criticised as one of the strictest frameworks in the US.

Last week, a group of cannabis advocates staged an event at the Capitol Rotunda to gather signatures for a petition urging Beshear to use a recently proposed House Bill 72 as a framework for the decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis.

The group has called on the Governor to use his executive powers, just as he did with the medical cannabis bill, to move this forward.

A second initiative, House Bill 160, would also enable voters to decide on the legalization of home cultivation and possession of up to an ounce of cannabis.

Regina Carpenter, a member of the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition who has been advocating for legalisation for over a decade, said: “It’s time to protect Kentucky citizens from the cruel and outdated laws that have restricted our economy and damaged the lives of our citizens for 87 years.

“It loads up our jails with ‘criminals’ who are in there for the possession of a plant. In my eyes, that’s not a criminal; it’s a person. And with that, it’s overcrowding our jails.”

Among the hundreds of attendees at the event were representatives from the Kentucky Colenels, an independent, nonprofit organization with the purpose of aiding and promoting nonprofits in the Commonwealth and its citizens.

More than 250,000 Kentuckians are Kentucky Colonels, and the group has become the latest to throw their weight behind the cause.

 



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