Medical marijuana took a step forward yesterday in The Kentucky House of Representatives to becoming law. The House approved the measure on a vote of 65-30 after more than two hours of debate and consideration of 11 floor amendments. The bill’s chances for passage in the state Senate are unclear and appear to be a long shot. If the bill becomes law, Kentucky would be the 34th state to legalize medical marijuana.
The bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for a list of conditions yet to be determined by a panel of 13 people — eight doctors, a pharmacist and four public advocates. An amendment passed on the House floor ensured that the list of conditions would include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and nausea or vomiting. Proponents of the measure argue that All of those conditions have substantial or conclusive evidence that they are effectively treated by marijuana.
The bill makes the Cabinet for Health and Family Services responsible for regulating medicinal marijuana and requires that a minimum of 25 medicinal marijuana dispensaries be set up throughout the state. Under current federal law, pharmacies are forbidden from selling medical marijuana.