Kentucky Governor Open to Executive Order If Latest Bill Initiative Fails
Governor Andy Beshear has announced that if state lawmakers won’t allow you to get a Kentucky Marijuana Card, he’ll try to move forward on medical marijuana without them.
According to the Courier Journal, when asked by a reporter if he was considering issuing an executive order to get medical marijuana into the hands of suffering Kentucky patients, the governor responded, “We’re going to explore that. It’s something that we will look at. Its time has certainly come.”
WUKY, the University of Kentucky’s NPR affiliate, reports that Beshear added, “I'm going to have certainly our attorneys in the executive branch, as well as others that are interested, look at and explore every other option. This is the will of the people. I hope that the legislative branch will listen to it. If not, we're going to explore executive options.”
Announcement Reflects Governor’s Growing Impatience with Legislature
This isn’t the first time that Beshear has publicly supported medical marijuana, or the first time that he has referenced how overdue Kentucky patients are for some relief.
In December, the governor said it was “past time” that Kentucky moved forward with medical marijuana. The governor added at that time that “It's time we joined so many other states in doing the right thing.”
Beshear’s repeated references to how overdue medical marijuana is here seem to reflect his growing frustration with a legislature that stubbornly refuses on this issue to 1) join the 21st century and 2) respond to the wishes of its constituents.
Governor Not Alone in Wanting Medical Marijuana; Kentuckians Want It Too
It isn’t as though Beshear is a lone voice calling for medical marijuana. The House passed a medical marijuana bill on a 59-34 vote back in March, but it has since stalled in the Senate.
And it isn’t just the governor and the representatives who believe medical marijuana’s time has come in Kentucky; the residents of the Bluegrass State feel the same way.
In fact, 90% of Kentuckians support medical marijuana and would like to see the state establish a medical marijuana program.
“You see people from every part of every spectrum that are in favor of this,” Beshear told the Courier Journal.
Put succinctly, by refusing to even vote on the bill, Senate Republicans are not only opposing medical marijuana, they are opposing the very idea that democratically-elected officials are beholden to the will of the voters.
Having Their Cake and Eating It Too: Senators Attempt to Support and Block Medical Marijuana
While marijuana reform has traditionally been a no-no for Republican voters and lawmakers, that’s beginning to change. We can see that in the House’s passage of the medical marijuana bill, as the GOP has a supermajority in that chamber just as they do in the Senate.
But Senate Republicans appear to be trying to have their cake and eat it too on the issue of medical marijuana, attempting to look supportive while also blocking passage of the bill.
According to the Courier-Journal, when he was asked about the bill’s prospects, Senate President Robert Stivers said its passage seemed unlikely, given that this legislative session has almost come to an end. Stivers did, however, “tout” another proposed bill that would create a cannabis research center at the University of Kentucky.
“Most definitely, I think there is that desire to help individuals,” Stivers said. “But with any drug, I think you need to have the full-blown studies.”
Stivers didn’t explain why he thought there was time to pass the research bill but not the medical marijuana bill, but he did explain how he saw the former as something that could lead to the latter.
“(The research bill) would give us the impetus to come back maybe within a year and say this is what marijuana could be used for or not be used for,” Stivers said.
In other words, Senate Republicans aren’t telling their constituents that they can’t have a medicine that 90% of them want and that is available in thirty-seven states already. Senators are just telling Kentuckians that they can’t have it yet, but maybe in a year or so.
Of course “maybe in a year or so” also means “maybe not in a year or so.”
Senate Republicans’ Stance on Medical Marijuana Ignores Scientific Evidence
Another problem with the Senate’s stance on medical marijuana is that while more scientific research is a good thing for any medication, the science on cannabis is pretty clear: When used under a physician’s care, medical marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for a long list of conditions.
By refusing to even vote on the bill, Senate Republicans are essentially saying that they know what is good for the people of Kentucky, and the House, the governor, scientists, the legislatures of thirty-seven other states, and Kentuckians themselves don’t.
Take Action Now to Bring the Relief of Medical Marijuana to Kentucky
You have to wait for the law to change before medical marijuana comes to Kentucky, but you can take action to help speed the process of finding relief, both for the entire state and for yourself.
First, let the governor know that you support the idea of executive orders being used if the General Assembly continues to drag their feet about doing their duty. Second, let state Senators know that you won’t support their continued employment if they don’t support your right to find relief. And third, reserve an appointment with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate cannabis doctors, so that you’ll be ready for medical marijuana just as soon as it arrives in Kentucky.
Reserve an evaluation online today with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as Kentucky’s medical marijuana market is up and running.
You’ll meet with your doctor virtually via a telemedicine appointment using your smartphone or computer. Together, you’ll discuss your condition and decide if medical marijuana is right for you. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of the appointment!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-6360, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Kentucky Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Kentucky!