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Medical Marijuana Fails In Kansas, Moves Forward in Kentucky

The state of Kentucky remains on track to legalize medical marijuana following a bill passed in the state Senate. Unfortunately, an MMJ measure of a similar nature in Kansas has essentially died out.

Following lawmakers’ successful blocking of MMJ bills in previous sessions, Kentucky’s upper House voted 26-22 on Thursday, March 16, to approve Senate Bill 47, according to the Associated Press.

World’s Apart On Medical Marijuana

Kentucky’s progression from anti-cannabis to pro-cannabis has been nothing short of phenomenal, in contrast to a stringent Kansas that remains resistant to the inevitable. Shockingly, Kansas remains one of only three states in the US to have no current state model for medical cannabis.

In Kentucky, this measure would see the legalization of medical cannabis for people suffering from familiar conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. The bill will now head to the state House of Representatives, known to have previously approved medical marijuana with overwhelming majorities, only to see progress grind to a halt when it reaches the Senate.

World’s Apart On Medical Marijuana

Garnering Support For Medical Marijuana In Kentucky

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order last fall, allowing Kentucky residents to carry MMJ that was purchased in other states legally. Beshear is expected to give his stamp of approval for any bill the House passes into law.

With Kentucky’s part-time legislative session ending this month, the House would need to send a medical marijuana bill to Beshear’s desk within the next week or two to secure support.

Although one of the 13 remaining states with little to no MMJ access, Kentucky remains a key state for marijuana nationwide. The state is also a major center for hemp production, with companies there partaking as major players in the CBD and delta-8 THC markets.

Kentucky is also home to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose support would prove indispensable for federal cannabis reform.

Resistance To Medical Marijuana In Kansas

Recently, Kansas lawmakers appeared to squash any chances for medical cannabis legalization within this year when the Senate tabled a MMJ bill, reported the Associated Press. Similar to Kentucky, Kansas is a notably conservative state now represented by a Democratic governor.

With internal conflict made apparent, Gov. Laura Kelly said that she would sign an MMJ bill into law, but that opposition from law enforcement had appeared to sway state Senate republicans to block the proposed legislation.

Kansas and Kentucky are worlds apart when it comes to stances on medical marijuana– and this despite having a strikingly similar political composition. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that for a state like Kansas, medical marijuana legalization is simply not a state priority. 

Alas, the war rages on for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kansas and has gained the house spotlight in Kentucky, much to the public’s delight. The hope is that the traction gained in Kentucky can drive disinterested states like Kansas to hop on the bandwagon to provide more equitable and regulated access to medical cannabis for their masses.

Resistance To Medical Marijuana In Kansas

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