For the first time ever, Kentucky’s House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow the state’s residents access to medicinal marijuana treatment. After Thursday’s 65-30 vote in favor of passing House Bill 136, the initiative will head to the state Senate.
There, HB 136 will face its fair share of political challenges. Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers has downplayed the importance of cannabis legalization, even implying in 2018 that those who are looking to “relax” or “feel better” might better look to a glass of bourbon (though one could argue he was merely promoting the state’s existing drug industries).
Kentucky is one of only 17 states in the country where no form of marijuana is legal.
But the state’s cannabis critics may be standing on the wrong side of history. Just ask the whopping 90 percent of residents who said they were in favor of medicinal marijuana regulation in a Kentucky Health Issues poll mere weeks ago. The number rose by 10 percent since the same question was posed to the state in a 2012 poll.
Nearly half of respondents to this year’s survey said that they were in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis as well.