We are working on a special project for 2023 Kentucky General Assembly and we need your help making this project a reality.
Kentucky NORML will be printing a series of Informational 18"x24" posters to be displayed at the Capitol in various locations, We are not at liberty to divulge exactly where they will be placed until after session starts but rest assured that they will be extremely visible and effective. So we need YOU to a sponsor a poster or two!
Kentucky NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to decriminalize the use of cannabis in Kentucky, along with a robust, accessible, and affordable medical cannabis program. We will continue further to fight for adult use and to serve as an advocate for consumers and patients to assure they have access to a higher quality of cannabis that is safely regulated, affordable and accessible.
Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, is a form of treatment that uses the cannabis plant or its active ingredients to help manage symptoms or treat certain conditions. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Help us by volunteering to help work the Cannabis advocacy table!
Meet fellow advocates, hand out information to Capitol visitors, etc.
As your constituent, I urge you to support medical cannabis and decriminalization for Kentucky in the 2023 General Assembly.
So by now you have probably heard about Governor Beshear's Executive Order on Medical Cannabis that was released a few weeks ago on Nov 15, 2022.
But what does it all mean? What changes will we see in Kentucky? Does this mean it's legal now? Who will qualify for this program?
We have you covered. Kentucky NORML is co-hosting a Live Q&A with State Representative Nima Kulkarni, Kungu Njuguna (ACLU-KY), Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition, Minorites for Medical Marijuana, Kentucky NORML, and Kentucky Moms for Medical Marijuana.
Submit your questions below and RSVP to the Facebook event so that you receive notifications and event reminders. We will do our very best to address all your questions.
To schedule a meeting with your senator or representative in Kentucky, you can follow these steps:
Cannabis decriminalization is a policy that reduces or eliminates criminal penalties for possession and use. It is different from legalization, which removes criminal penalties and creates a regulated market for cannabis. Decriminalization can take the form of reducing possession to a civil infraction or downgrading possession to a misdemeanor. It is often seen as a step towards legalization and can reduce the burden on the criminal justice system. However, it does not create a legal market for cannabis and it is still illegal to sell or distribute cannabis in states with decriminalization laws.
Today, Governor Beshear signed two cannabis-related executive orders. The first allows patients who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition to possess up to 8 ounces of medical cannabis legally obtained from dispensaries in states that offer reciprocity. The second order pertains to the regulation the sale of delta-8 products.
The first order will take effect starting on January 1, 2023.
“Kentuckians suffering from chronic and terminal conditions are going to be able to get the treatment they need without living in fear of a misdemeanor,” Beshear said. “With 37 states already legalizing medical cannabis and 90% of Kentucky adults supporting it, I am doing what I can to provide access and relief to those who meet certain conditions and need it to better enjoy their life, without pain.”
Go to Danksgiving this year with Deluxe Weed Double Deck Card Game AND a Hippe Joe's Logo T-Shirt!
Courtesy of Hippie Joe's in Cave City, KY. "Good Vibes Only"
2 Steps to enter to WIN:
1. Enter your information on this form
2. Like Hippie Joe's on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hippiejoes/
***Giveaway is open from November 1 - November 14, 2022. The winner will be announced on November 15, 2022.***
With a vote of 59 Yes to 34 No, House Bill 136, a provision to implement a medical marijuana program in the state of Kentucky, has passed the House of Representatives. An amendment to add PTSD was added and accepted to the list of qualifying conditions. It joins any type or form of cancer regardless of stage; Chronic, severe, intractable, or debilitating pain; Epilepsy or any other intractable seizure disorder; Multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, or spasticity; and Nausea or vomiting.
Come network and volunteer with Kentucky NORML on the fourth Thursday of each month for our regular general meetings now taking place on Zoom. Invite a friend and join us in the work to help legalize cannabis. All are welcome. Join us!
***Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, the November meeting will be held on Nov 18, 2021***
This month, we will be discussing medical cannabis bills that will be filed for the 2022 Session and what you can do to support forward movement. Guest Speaker to be announced. Please RSVP here to be emailed the Zoom meeting link.
EVERYONE WHO RSVPS TO NOVEMBER'S MEETING WILL BE ENTERED TO WIN THIS MONTH'S SPONSORED GIVEAWAY!!!
RSVP in the form below or at https://actionnetwork.org/events/kentucky-norml-november-2021-membership-meeting/
Now that we’ve got a wide-angle snapshot of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, let’s get to the meat and potatoes, shall we?
In my last two posts, we examined the bulk of what the MORE Act seeks to accomplish and why it matters to Kentuckians. This week, to wrap things up, we’ll delve into the proposals within the legislation that seek to facilitate expansion of the cannabis industry, ensure equity in the marketplace, and address the carnage that half a century of abominable drug policy has left in its wake.
The MORE Act begins with the creation of the Opportunity Trust Fund, financed through the imposition of a 5% tax on the sale of products containing or made from cannabis. The tax levy will increase annually by 1% until a maximum of 8% is reached. Additionally, the bill would authorize the creation of the Cannabis Justice Office (CJO) within the U.S. Department of Justice. The primary responsibilities of the CJO are to establish, implement and oversee the Community Reinvestment Grant program. Under this program, grants would become available to organizations that provide services to people who have suffered due to the tyranny of prohibitionist lunacy. Specifically, the bill lists job training, re-entry services, legal aid (including cannabis conviction expungement), literacy programs, youth recreation or mentoring programs, and health education programs as focal points. The CJO, in concert with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), would also be directed to provide grants aimed at providing substance abuse treatment services to those adversely affected by the costly, failed drug war.
As I alluded to in part one of this series, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act contains a number of provisions and programs essential for the cannabis industry to thrive on a national scale. Additionally, the legislation includes funding and oversight for said programs. More information on those programs is forthcoming, but before addressing the framework, I feel it is necessary to touch upon the legislation’s foundation. First and foremost, the MORE Act removes cannabis from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) list of controlled substances which, in and of itself, has the potential to benefit Kentucky citizens in a variety of ways.
At the top of the list of the MORE Act’s legalization benefits are those within the judicial system. Under the proposed new cannabis policy, manufacture, distribution, use, and possession of cannabis would cease to be a crime at the federal level. Furthermore, this change to current policy is retroactive, establishing a process for expungement of prior convictions as well as sentencing reviews for those currently incarcerated due to the unjust policy of prohibition.
In December 2020, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act became first major cannabis reform to be passed in the US at the federal level when it was approved by the House of Representatives 228-164. Unfortunately, under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, it was never taken up by the Senate. On May 28 of this year, it was reintroduced by House Judiciary Chairman and sponsor of the bill, Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10). Due to a voter-imposed change in management, it seems likely that the legislation will make the Senate floor during this session. While proponents of the bill still face an uphill battle due to the continued orthodoxy of partisan obstructionism, the fact that nearly 70% of Americans support legalization provides a modicum of hope that the Senate can find a way to overcome the gridlock has become the defining characteristic of the American legislative process. If ever there was an issue with more potential for coalition building, I haven’t seen it in my lifetime.
"We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily…[w]e could…vilify them night after night on the evening news.
Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." --Nixon advisor John Ehrlichman
It was on June 17, 1971 that Richard Nixon officially declared war, a War on Drugs, ostensibly something we could and should all be able to get behind. History has shown, however, that reality doesn’t jive with the huckster’s pitch we were spoon fed. The war, in fact, was never on drugs. The war was, and is, a racist, politically motivated strategy to silence and disenfranchise dissenters by circumventing laws that protect their civil rights. Add in a dash of class warfare and a boatload of funding during the Reagan regime and what you have is a cynical assault on the very foundations of the American Experiment that has raged for half a century.
by Jason Conder
Amazon’s recent announcement that the company will be scaling back its drug screening policy is making news and making waves nationally. Being one of the most valuable brands on the planet and the second largest employer in the US gives Amazon a tremendous amount of leverage in the fight for fairer and more inclusive hiring practices. Their position in the market affords them the ability to influence not only public policy on a national scale, but also the business practices within the private sector. At face value, Amazon’s announcement is a big step toward eliminating what amounts to an unnecessary and discriminatory barrier to employment and opportunity.
Amazon’s new policy has the potential to greatly affect us here in the Bluegrass State. According to the Cabinet for Economic Development, as of 2017, Amazon ranked “…fifth in the state with 7,232 full-time jobs in its list of Kentucky’s largest manufacturing, service and technology firms...” Already one of the largest employers in the state, Amazon is continually expanding. A new fulfillment center in Fayette County, for example, is currently in the works. The retail giant’s relaxation of their pre-employment screening policy will expand the opportunity to earn above average wages to Kentuckians who would have previously been needlessly excluded from the labor pool.
For the last decade, Kentucky cannabis advocates have been fighting hard during the legislative session to give Kentuckians safe, legal access to medicinal cannabis. Every year, our hopes get dashed upon the wall when someone in a leadership position sits on the bill, not allowing it to be heard or voted on by their peers.
Last session, finally, history was made when the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass HB136 - a bill that would have established a medical cannabis industry - out of committee and let it be heard and voted on by the House. We celebrated a victory that day, but our hopes were staunched once again when the bill was passed from the House floor into the Senate Judiciary committee, because state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, who serves as committee chairman, dragged his feet, telling advocates he had many concerns and he was thinking on it, while making it obvious he would not put the bill on the committee agenda until his concerns were assuaged.