Recent events have made it clear that we are at a national crossroads. We also reach this crossroads locally as Louisville has been catapulted to the national spotlight alongside Minneapolis in the recent protests calling for justice for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Kentucky NORML stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and against systemic racism, discrimination, and intolerance. Cannabis prohibition is just one of a number of issues that have perpetuated injustice disproportionately upon black communities across generations.
To borrow from Eric Altieri, Executive Director for National NORML, “Will legalizing marijuana reform alone solve the problem of racial injustice? No. Is ending cannabis prohibition going to fix all of America’s social ills? No. After we legalize adult-cannabis use, will we see an end to discriminatory policing against communities of color and other marginalized groups? No. Will the end of marijuana prohibition be a small step toward the greater goal of promoting justice? Without a doubt, yes.”
Newly elected Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear scored the second-highest grade among governors in the southeastern United States on the 2020 Gubernatorial Scorecard issued by a national cannabis reform group.
Beshear, a Democrat, received a B- on a scorecard released last week by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Beshear’s grade was second in the southeast to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s B+ mark.
Beshear received a high score from the cannabis advocacy group, who cited comments the former state Attorney General made during his successful candidacy in 2019.
“I support placing medical marijuana legalization on the ballot as a constitutional amendment and would vote in its favor. I would vote for it because I’ve seen the impact opioids have had on every Kentucky community,” Beshear said. “So many Kentucky families have seen a loved one fall into addiction, and their lives have been devastated. If medical marijuana is an alternative and gives people the chance to get pain relief without being subjected to opioids, I think it’s something we’ve got to explore.”