Kentucky’s 2013 Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act

Jacob Jones Published:


The states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use and cultivation of marijuana. Kentucky joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.

The above text is from the first section of the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act, this bills fate will be determined during our 2013 General Assembly. Also within the first section of the Act is the text below:

Marijuana’s recorded use as a medicine goes back nearly five thousand (5,000) years. Modern medical research has confirmed the beneficial uses for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, as found by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in March 1999;

Studies published since the 1999 Institute of Medicine report have continued to show the therapeutic value of marijuana in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. These include relief of the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, other illnesses and injuries that often fail to respond to conventional treatments, and relief of nausea, vomiting, and other side effects of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, increasing the chances of patients continuing on life-saving treatment regimens.

Marijuana has many currently accepted medical uses in the United States, having been recommended by thousands of licensed physicians to more than five hundred thousand (500,000) patients in states with medical marijuana laws. Marijuana's medical utility has been recognized by a wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and many others.

Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately ninety-nine (99) out of every one hundred (100) marijuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill patients who have a medical need to use marijuana

States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. Therefore, compliance with Sections 1 to 24 of this Act does not put the state of Kentucky in violation of federal law; and

State law should make a distinction between the medical and nonmedical uses of marijuana. Therefore, the purpose of Sections 1 to 24 of the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture, if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.

You’ve just read most of section 1 from the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act. Thank you. The next sections of this Act define this crucial medical program and are followed by needed protections along with guiding restrictions. The enacting of this bill benefits our loved ones and people we all know, who need medical marijuana to improve the quality of their lives.

The following are debilitating medical conditions which may qualify one to become a Kentucky medical marijuana patient:

Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or the treatment of these conditions;

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one (1) or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

Please inform your districts congressmen of your support for the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act and urge their co-sponsor for the 2013 General Assembly.

Official record of the bill can be found at

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  • Jacob, Thank you for using the GGMMMA logo I designed. If you ever need any artwork done email is

  • I am an Iraq veteran that deals with PTSD and IBS daily... I have struggled for years and cannabis actually helps me function and feel "normal" again! The "black box" labeled drugs, antidepressants only made it more difficult, not to mention feeling like a lab rat trying different "drugs" the docs prescribed.

  • I am 52 years old and have had Parkinsons for about ten years. I feel the bill is only addressing a very short list of conditions for which marijuana could be used, in the mistaken belief that having a more comprehensive list will lessen it's chance of passing. In my case, the marijuana eases the transition between my doses of levadopa, a stressful time for me, and I'm sure others with the same condition. Surely there are other medical conditions that marijuana could be of benefit. It is just a matter of time before it is legalized. Kentucky has faced a plague of drug addiction for a number of years. Let's allow Kentuck's Law enforcement personnel to concentrate their efforts on the real killers, heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs.

  • First of all I am a conservative republican at heart. Which to me means small government which also means legalize marijuana, let the DEA focus on something that might kill someone not POT. Yes I know the majority of my party may not agree but many of us have a brain and see the many uses of this drug. My husband is a cancer survivor who nearly 20 yrs ago used pot when my pharmacist suggested something from the cannibis family to aid in his nausea, what fun that was to find! My sister has MS and everyday for her I wish it was legal. My mother had parkinsons and I truly believe marijuana would have greatly aided her in a variety of ways. I am a healthcare provider... everyone needs to wakeup and recognize big government and big pharmacy do not want it legal so it must be an excellent idea.

  • Same thing for pain contracts, they are not worth the paper they are written on. Here sign this contract or we will withold treatment from you. That's extortion!!! And so invalidates the contract!!!

  • thomv is right Jo555. I'd just get another doctor...the one that you have is abrogating her professional responsibilities due to her political orientation.

  • There is no law requireing a Doctor to test a patient for illegal drugs. It's a cover done out of fear of the DEA. There is no law that requires a doctor to withold treatment if a person tests positive for marijuana. It is entirely up to the attending doctor whether or not to withold medication or withold treatment. The VA recently stopped this practice when it was pointed out that their own guidelines for opioid medications says a doctor should CONSIDER using pain contracts or urine testing or witholding of meds only if he thinks his patient is having trouble with their meds. It is not a requirement. Matter of fact the Hippocratic oath opposes witholding treatment. Patients need to question their Doctors about this because it is NOT REQUIRD that they do any of these things!!!

  • i have several medical issues and i take several meds.and i recently went the dr and i tested postive for thc..i was told if i would come back in 30 and be tested agin and it comes back clean she can prosribe me meds for stress and depression and pain meds.well honestly i would rather smoke a half of a joint and be ok then take several meds and get addicted to pain pills and such..the laws should be changed im sure im not the only person who this effects..

  • Thank you HaightAshbury for being public with your story. They can, should, and will, be listening to you and all patient stories, causing the enacting of our medical bill to be a reality. It will soon be 20 years since my father was murdered for his medicinal crop and i too know if legislators was slayed with the pain, fear, discrimination, and loss of hope our current polices promote, our laws would quickly change. But that's why we have to keep pressing this issue in the public. We should not be forced to wait 20 more years or just one more year! We deserve Legal State Access!

  • How does does Mitt Romney feel about this issue? Typical prohibitionist response...because people that he talks to in his state cling to the debunked 1960's notion that marijuana is a gateway drug? Really!: "I would not legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the reasons are straightforward: As I talk to people in my state and at the federal government level about marijuana and its role in society, they are convinced that the entry way into a drug culture for our young people is marijuana. Marijuana is the starter drug....The idea of medical marijuana is designed to get marijuana out in the public marketplace and ultimately lead to the legalization of marijuana overall. And in my view, that's the wrong way to go. I know that other people have differing views. If you'd like to get someone who is in favor of marijuana, I know there are some on the Democratic side of the aisle who will be happy to get in your campaign. But I'm opposed to it, and if you elect me president, you're not going to see legalized marijuana. I'm going to fight it tooth and nail."

  • Over 21 years ago I had my first meeting with my oncologist. YES, one of those meetings everyone dreads. My doctor sat me down and told me I need to get my life in order. I remember not fully comprehending what I was being told. But there was no misunderstanding what I was told next. I was told I have cancer and it's spreading fast. If my body doesn't react positively and quickly to the aggressive chemo treatments that I'm about to undergo, I have only months to live. My oncologist explained many things to me that day including the use of marijuana and how because of Kentucky laws, I'm unable to obtain a prescription for it. WTF! Some of you may have read this before but anyway, I smoked cannabis my room at the Markey Cancer Center everyday I was there. Mostly at night or early morning when things were quite. No one on the whole 3rd floor said a word. Let me state that again, no one said a word about the smell of cannabis coming from my room. Those folks in the Markey Cancer Center are the experts. Not some law enforcement official or legislator that can't take off the blinders and adjust to the changing times. I wouldn't call a plumber when I have computer problems. So I sure as **** not going to listen to any law enforcement official or legislators opinion about medical issues like the positive effects of medical cannabis. Those folks should be listening to ME and others who are the experts. My weekly meetings with my oncologist, I talked often about the positive benefits cannabis was having in fighting off the dreadful side effects of chemo. Boy how naive I was back then. I thought for sure within 10 years the medical marijuana laws for Kentucky would change. Well it's been 21 years and not one single positive law has been passed to help cancer patients. I do not wish anyone to go through what I had to endure and I could sure tell you about some horrible days I experienced. BUT if it would change the minds of our elected officials if they could experience, for a week, the daily torture, the daily fear that was constant in my life during that time, then yes I do wish that upon them. With that experience, with that new perspective on cancer patients, laws would quickly change. Do not vote for any legislators that would not vote for the Gatewood Bill. In other words do not vote for any current legislator!!!!!!!

  • The FIRST thing that we have to do is elect progressive legislators who understand the science (instead of rejecting it flat-out), which means that the Republican Party and in particular its Teabag wing) is out. Republicans other than Ron Paul have been clear on there opposition to this...and especially Willard Mitt Romney. Kentuckians are going to have to become aware and start to vote in their own self interest before we can become anything other than the armpit of the nation. I don't see that happening any time soon. But I am pulling for the passage of this bill any way. I have had several friends who have had cancer and went through is awful and I would not wish it on my worst enemy (whoever that is?). Without the help of illicit medical marijuana it would have been much worse as they would not have been able to eat anything. It is vitally important to try to maintain your weight if you are taking chemo drugs. Many of them are gone now but many more are contracting this dreadful disease. It is heartbreaking to see them have to go out onto the black market to try to obtain their medicine at street drug prices (which are artificially high due to the RISKS that our criminal justice (?) system imposes on the marketplace). The vast majority of these patients have never committed a felony before, but now must run the gauntlet between the police and the criminal element that distributes this drug. In their desperate condition, it is unconscionable that they should have to fear for their own safety as they wonder who may get to will get to them first. In this case, the worst possible outcome would the police. That ain't right.

  • Cannabis can kill cancer cells, prevent Alzheimer disease, stop the progression of MS, and so much more. Enforcement of this illogical and failed prohibition ensures other wise law abiding citizens much misery. From those in need being denied access to safe, benefiting, and life prolonging medicine or to those who lose their lives defending this plant for their accurate belief of cannabis being their medicine, such as my father. With KY's voter turnout, i am not displeased we do not have ballot initiatives anonymous_1713. Our citizens need to be more involved with our political process, this is not impossible for Kentucky! States such as Hawaii have shown one does not necessarily need a ballot initiative to demand justice and compassion. Once the majority of voters want this change in state law their respective legislators will support them or be voted out. We have a great medical bill we should be proud of. We must continue to raise awareness of this crucial bill for our 2013 legislative session. We must be active in our districts and we will be amazed with the support we gather. Kimmy, i am sorry to hear of your life hindering aliments but am glad you have found safe and effective medicine. Once the elections are over we will have more insight of where we stand to get this bill through congress, for sure i see our improved medical bill making it further than it did last year. We should write, call, and visit with our districts congressmen before January. Also we can keep this movement alive by talking to our friends, families, and neighbors. Even though we do not have ballot initiatives, power still resides with the people. We can and will do this!

  • i am a patient who has high bloodpressure and P.t.s.d....i smoke marijuana to aleive my high blood pressure. and also to treat the symptoms of my is the only thing that works....i have been smoking it since i was 14 yrs old ....... help what can i do ?????

  • The key sentence here is "The above text is from the first section of the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act, this bills fate will be determined during our 2013 General Assembly." ............................................................... Those other states were not dependent upon their esteemed enlightened legislators to pass such laws, as the people directly decide what ballot initiatives they want and put the question to popular vote. In the great Commonwealth of KY, we are forced rely on our bumpkin-laced Legislature to change the failed policies of the past...which is a bit like trying to turn the Titanic.

  • Jake you did good! Proud to call you a friend. Jacob lost his father to the war on cannabis and he is steadfastly carrying on the fight that his father died for. You are a true warrior Jacob Jones. Educate, Legislate, Regulate.

  • I pray medical marijuana is approved in KY and nationwide by the time I need it. My heart breaks for those who need it now but are denied.

  • For more information on the healing benefits of cannabis go to