Gov. Beshear Launches 4 Steps To Explore Medical Marijuana Legalization Via Executive Action

Apr 21, 2022 at 3:06 pm
Kentucky is lagging behind other states in legalizing medical marijuana.
Kentucky is lagging behind other states in legalizing medical marijuana. Adobe Stock

4/20 round two? Gov. Andy Beshear gave marijuana proponents something to celebrate today when he announced that he’ll be exploring how he can legalize medical marijuana after the legislature failed once again to do so.

At his regular Team Kentucky update, Beshear laid out four steps that he’ll be taking.

The first step is the big one: Gov. Beshear says he’s reached out to his general counsel, who will analyze the options that he has to take executive action on legalizing medical marijuana. 

The rest are about gathering feedback from the general public about their thoughts regarding medical marijuana, and they include: 

  • Establishing a Governor’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Team
  • Sending that advisory team around the state to gather feedback. Beshear said an exact schedule hasn’t been established but his office plans to make at least four stops
  • Setting up an email for Kentuckians to use to provide feedback: [email protected]. 
“I am for medical cannabis,” Beshear said. “I want it done in the right way, and we’re going to be looking at our options very closely and we want to hear from you.”

A bill to legalize medical marijuana passed the House during the most recent legislative sessions, which ended last week. But it failed to even receive a committee vote in the Senate. Republican leadership there expressed skepticism about medical marijuana, with Sen. Damon Thayer saying even before the session began that he believes medical marijuana is a “slippery slope for recreational marijuana.”

This, despite the fact that a majority of Kentuckians support medical marijuana: 90% according to a 2020 Kentucky Health Issues Poll. 

Beshear said that he is not currently advocating for recreational marijuana legalization but decriminalization needs to be looked at.