Kentucky Bill Would Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Legislation to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana – and up to five grams of resin – has been filed in Kentucky’s Senate.

Senate Bill 82 was filed by State Senator Jimmy Higdon (R). It was initially assigned to the State and Local Government Committee, but was reassigned today to the Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee. The measure would decriminalize “personal use quantity” of marijuana, which is defined by being less than an ounce of bud or less than five grams of resin. Those caught possessing within these limits could not face jail time or a criminal charge, but could be given a fine.

The legislation would also exempt “personal use marijuana accessories” from the state’s drug paraphernalia law, allowing for the possession of smoking devices such as pipes and bongs.

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Kentucky Governor Signs Resolution Urging Feds to Legalize Hemp

A resolution urging the federal government to legalize hemp has been signed into law by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

Governor Bevin’s signing of Kentucky House Concurrent Resolution 35 comes less than two weeks after it was approved, unanimously (36 to 0), by the state’s Senate. In February it was passed by the House of Representatives in an overwhelming 93 to 2 vote.

The resolution states that the “General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky urges the United States Congress to take action by enacting legislation that:

(1) Encourages large-scale commercial cultivation of hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act;

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Kentucky Legislature Passes Resolution Urging Federal Government to End Hemp Prohibition

A resolution urging the federal government to end its prohibition on industrial hemp has been passed by the full Kentucky Legislature.

Kentucky House Concurrent Resolution 35 was given unanimous approval (36 to 0) Wednesday by the state’s Senate. The vote comes a little over a month after the House passed the resolution 93 to 2. Yesterday it was delivered to Governor Matt Bevin, who now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it (although a veto could be overturned by a 2/3rds vote in the legislature).

The resolution states that the “General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky urges the United States Congress to take action by enacting legislation that:

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Kentucky Senate Votes 93 to 2 to Urge Federal Government to End Hemp Prohibition

A Kentucky resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to legalize industrial hemp has been passed by an overwhelming vote in the state’s Senate.

Kentucky House Concurrent Resolution 35 was approved yesterday through its third and final reading in the Senate by a vote of 93 to 2.

The resolution states that the “General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky urges the United States Congress to take action by enacting legislation that:

(1) Encourages large-scale commercial cultivation of hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act;

Read moreKentucky Senate Votes 93 to 2 to Urge Federal Government to End Hemp Prohibition

Kentucky Approves Over 12,000 Acres of Hemp for 2018

Kentucky officials have approved the cultivation of over 12,000 acres of hemp for 2018.

In total the Kentucky Department of Agriculture approved 12,018 acres of industrial hemp for the year. The hemp will be used for research purposes.

The over 12,000 acres will be grown by 225 approved farmers. The number is up from the 209 farmers approved last year.

Of the 225 farmers, 185 stated that their focus will be research on floral material. 103 said their primary focus will be grain or seed research, and 66 said fiber research.

Read moreKentucky Approves Over 12,000 Acres of Hemp for 2018

Kentucky Marijuana Possession Laws

Kentucky Marijuana Possession LawsKentucky Marijuana Possession Laws:

 

Up to 8 ounces:

Penalty: Misdemeanor with up to 45 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $250.

 

Anything above 8 ounces is considered for distribution purposes. Below is Kentucky’s distribution laws:

 

Less than 8 oz (first offense)MisdemeanorIncarceration: 1 yearFine: $500
Less than 8 oz (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 1 – 5 yearsFine: $10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 1 – 5 yearsFine: $10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 5 – 10 yearsFine: $10,000
5 lbs or more (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 5 – 10 yearsFine: $10,000
5 lbs or more (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 10 – 20 yearsFine: $10,000
To a minor (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 5 – 10 yearsFine: $10,000
To a minor (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 10 – 20 yearsFine: $10,000
Within 1000 yards of a school or parkFelonyIncarceration: 1 – 5 yearsFine: $10,000

 

 

For further information on Kentucky marijuana laws – including penalties for cultivation – click here. For recent updates to Kentucky’s marijuana possession laws and other Kentucky-related stories, click here.

Kentucky Nurses Association Endorses Legalizing Medical Cannabis

kentThe Kentucky Nurses Association has officially endorsed the legalization of medical cannabis, calling it an issue of patients’ rights.

“I hope that folks are going to see that when registered nurses say this is an important access to care issue, that folks are going to look at it as the medical and patient care issue that it is and not as a social issue,” says Maureen Keenan, executive director of the Kentucky Nurses Association, which is a state branch of the American Nurses Association (founded nearly 120 years ago in 1897).

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Bill to Legalize Cannabis Filed in Kentucky Senate

kentLegislation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for those 21 and older has been prefiled for the upcoming legislative session (beginning January) in Kentucky.

The Cannabis Freedom Act (Senate Bill 44), filed by Senator Perry B. Clark, would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to five cannabis plants at a private residence. The measure would establish a regulatory a licensing system for cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers.

Read moreBill to Legalize Cannabis Filed in Kentucky Senate

Incoming Kentucky Governor Supports Medical Cannabis

Republican Matt Bevin, who’s Kentucky’s governor-elect after beating Democrat Jack Conway by a comfortable nine-point margin, is in complete support of legalizing medical cannabis, including establishing a system that allows patients safe access to the medicine.

During a debate on October 25, Bevin said that there is ‘unequivocal medical evidence’ that cannabis has medical value, and that he supports establishing a medical cannabis program which would allow the plant to be ‘prescribed like any other prescription drug.’ Conway, Bevin’s rival and the apparent loser of the race, disagreed, saying that legalizing medical cannabis would make it easier for children to get (an argument science has continually disproven).

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Kentucky House Speaker Will Soon File Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill

Kentuckykentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has announced that he will file a bill in the upcoming legislative session aimed at legalizing medical cannabis.

“I think it’s going to get some play this session; I don’t know how much,” says Stumbo, noting that although Kentucky lawmakers have been hesitant of legalizing medical cannabis in past sessions, the momentum for change is increasing.

As part of the upcoming bill, cannabis possession and use would be legal for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. “Compassion centers” would be established as a means of safe access to the medicine.

Read moreKentucky House Speaker Will Soon File Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill