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With Session Waning, A Hearing But No Vote On Medical Cannabis

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
In this May 14, 2013, file photo, medical marijuana prescription vials are filled at a medical marijuana dispensary in Venice, Calif.

A medical marijuana bill won its first hearing during the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly.

House Bill 166 lays the groundwork for the legalization and taxing of medical marijuana in Kentucky. Monday, a house committee took up the issue with roughly three weeks remaining on the legislative calendar. Flemingsburg Democrat Rep. John Sims argued he’s listening to constituents with a variety of illnesses that could be treated with medical cannabis.

He also worked to reassure skittish lawmakers about possible conflicts with the federal government.

"If the federal government's view on cannabis is holding you up, well it didn't hold us up when we passed Senate Bill 50 to legalize hemp, the pilot project," Sims remarks to applause from supporters.

The committee stopped short of voting on the bill, with the chairman indicating the body would take up the measure at a later date.

Lexington’s Urban County Council had considered a resolution specifically backing HB166, but instead approved broader language urging the General Assembly to allow cities and local communities to make their own decisions regarding medical marijuana.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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