Perhaps all Kentucky needs to move forward with medical marijuana legislation is a 78-year-old Republican lawmaker to admit he threw his prescription pain meds in the trash—and smoked a joint instead. Cannabis advocates are hoping that’s the case after Wednesday’s announcement of Kentucky’s House Bill 136, which would make cannabis legal for those with debilitating illnesses and excruciating pain.
“For those that don’t know, I had colon cancer seven years ago, and when I left the hospital, they gave me that nice bottle of Oxycontin,” said Daniel DeVerl “Malano” Seum, the state senator, at a press conference. “I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoked a joint.”
Such revelations are not the norm for Kentucky politics, but they may be what’s needed if the bill’s sponsors make headway on providing patients access to cannabis. The state’s law enforcement has expressed split opinions on the support of cannabis legislation.
“My opposition to this legislation isn’t because I lack compassion for the sick, but because I think it’s wrong to herald marijuana — with its many proven negative qualities,” Sheriff Cain of Daviess County testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding last year’s unsuccessful medical cannabis proposal HB-166.