Kentucky State Senator Perry Clark’s refiling of the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act for 2013 Assembly consideration and passing is absolutely the right thing to do for Kentucky and here’s why.
First and foremost it will relieve the suffering of our citizens who rely on this medication for their health and quality of life. It will alleviate the anxiety and fear of our sick and disabled because the medicine they so desperately need will no longer be illegal and will be available to them in a safe and controlled manner. I’ve talked to many who suffer in silence rather than break the law, scared if they use this medicine that the police will destroy their lives when all they were trying to do is live a little longer or without pain.
This bill will create a new revenue stream for the State and for local governments.
This bill will establish an alternative crop for our farmers of medical marijuana and if coupled with the hemp bill will truly expand the agriculture options of our farmers.
This bill will cut criminal justice costs as the courts no longer have to meet out punishments to sick citizens simply because they need this medicine. It will free up our police to concentrate their resources on serious crimes with real victims instead of wasting their time and resources on a victimless crime committed by people who would otherwise be model citizens.
This bill will lower our unemployment rate. California’s medical marijuana market employs more than 30,000 workers in it’s retail and growing operations. That number is expected to double should full legalization kick in. The economic impact of all those workers paying taxes, buying groceries, educating their children and paying the rent or mortgage will be enormous. This bill will put us in a position to dominate a market in medicinal and when the Feds come to their senses, recreational marijuana that will grow to over a billion dollars when allowed to expand to it’s full potential.
The research on this wonderful medicine should be being done in Kentucky’s Universities and research facilities not in some other state or country.
Currently every state touching Kentucky’s borders has some form of medical marijuana legislation they are working either legislatively or by ballot initiative. We should not stand on the sidelines and let this opportunity go by.
Recent studies have shown states with medical marijuana have lower rates of traffic accidents, suicide and a decrease in teen marijuana use. The effect of medical marijuana laws on alcohol use has not been studied yet that I know of, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a decrease in alcohol induced domestic violence and traffic accidents as people switch from alcohol to the much safer drug marijuana. Here is a link to an overview of these studies. http://mmjbusinessdaily.com/2012/02/09/pot-group-norml-touts-study-showing-mmj-laws-have-no-effect-on-general-marijuana-use/
Medical marijuana law currently enjoys an astounding 82% favorability rating nationwide and full legalization polls at 56% . The people want reform and it makes no sense to deny our people the benefits of this legislation any longer. It would seem that a vote to deny Kentucky’s citizens the benefits of this bill could be construed as a dereliction of a legislators duty to uplift and improve the lives of the citizens he or she serves. Let us lift and improve the lives of our citizens by sponsoring and passing the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act.