As fate would have it, our old fake news sorta became real news as KY passed HB 47, a restrictive medical marijuana bill that only allows non-smokable forms of marijuana to be used by a limited number of medical conditions. In addition, the bill restricts where the marijuana can be purchased or grown. KY also passed sports betting legislation in the last day of its session on March 30.
In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, we thought we’d throw back to this old banger from our 2019 LEO Fake Issue.
Kentucky legalizes marijuana: Gun shops, churches given preference as pot dispensaries
Unable to pass pension or sports betting bills as the state headed toward bankruptcy, lawmakers unanimously approved a bill to legalize and tax marijuana for medical and recreational use.
Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB 420 into law immediately, noting that legalizing marijuana would bring millions of dollars to the state, rescue public pensions and “hopefully cool out all of those naysayers and nitpickers at the failing, boring Courier Journal.”
“I had a come to Jah moment earlier today and realized that Kentucky can be a model for the nation in how to use marijuana responsibly, to fill the pension’s deficit and… Wait, what are we talking about? Have you ever looked closely at paper, dude?!” he said during the signing ceremony at the Capitol.
The surprise vote came late into the night on the last day of the legislative session during a meeting of the Public Pensions Working Group, which had worked fruitlessly for months to get rid of teachers’ pensions. The holdup was mostly because teachers hold great power at the ballot box and, while lawmakers are ideologues, they are characteristically craven and self-serving.
According to several lawmakers at the meeting, new support for the pot bill came when Republican state Sen. Dan Seum told the group including Bevin that doctors had given him a “nice bottle of Oxycontin” for his cancer.
“I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoked a joint,” the 79-year-old lawmaker said. “And guess what? No nausea. I was able to function. I was going through the [chemo] treatment. It was during the legislative session. I did not miss a day due to nausea from the cancer.”
And, then, Seum handed out brownies that he said he had baked specially for Bevin, four of the House and Senate leadership and the 20 other lawmakers.
Among them was Republican Senate President Robert Stivers, who had called pot “a gateway drug” that no credible studies had shown was of medicinal value other than “it makes you feel good.” But, he said, Seum’s story convinced him, and the brownies brought new clarity.
“I need to get his recipe,” he said with a wink. “But, seriously, I was wrongheaded about pot. I mean, legalizing it is a win-win for Kentucky… brah.”
House Majority Floor Leader John “Bam” Carney, who controls which bills get called for a vote to the House floor, was not in the meeting and told reporters later that he would not call a vote on the bill. But after meeting privately with Seum, Carney said he had changed his mind and would bring the bill to an immediate vote after he hit the Speedway for Doritos and a Red Bull.
“What can I say?” he told reporters. “I had never tried it until now. We Republicans are so used to legislating on issues about which we have no personal experience, like abortion. We preach smaller government, so who are we to say what people can do in their own homes?”
The governor said Kentucky will immediately begin issuing licenses for pot dispensaries, giving preference to gun shops and churches. “What is more Kentucky than weed, weapons and the Holy Spirit,” a glassy-eyed Bevin told reporters. “Besides, that pain in my neck from carrying around my unusually large bobble-head has magically disappeared! Maybe it will make me less of a pain in the ass!”
Not everyone was in favor of the bill. Among critics was, not surprisingly, chronic curmudgeon and downer Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst-spokesperson for the righteous-leaning Family Foundation.
“Smoking the Devil’s weed will just bring you further from Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” he said. “It is a gateway drug to hell, and selling the state for doobies is sinful and reprehensible. Have you tried these brownies?” •