Kentucky rests smack in the buckle of the Bible Belt, but the Bluegrass State could soon join 16 other states defying federal law with the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
On Jan. 31, Sen. Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville) introduced SB129, which would make marijuana a schedule II drug in the Commonwealth. Under the proposed law, patients with a valid prescription from a medical doctor could possess not more than five grams of marijuana in a month and could legally cultivate no more than five cannabis plants for personal medical use in Kentucky.
The bill designates the legislation the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act in honor of the four-time gubernatorial candidate. A well-known political figure in Kentucky, Galbraith championed individual rights over his long political career.
“We’re going to take the government out of your bedroom, your bloodstream, your brain, your bladder, your business, your billfold, your back pockets, your bingo halls and your Internet bulletin boards,” he said in a 1995 campaign speech.
Galbraith was an outspoken advocate of marijuana and industrial hemp legalization.
“All we want to do is what’s right for the people,” he once quipped.
Galbraith died last month at the age of 63.
Federal law classifies marijuana a schedule I drug, meaning the feds consider it “highly addictive,” and they contend cannabis possesses no medicinal value. Medical doctors may not prescribe marijuana under federal law, and DEA agents can arrest users and distributors of medical marijuana.
The Constitution does not grant the federal government power to regulate a plant grown and consumed within a state’s borders. Yet all three branches of the federal government take the position that the “commerce clause” empowers them to regulate marijuana, despite the obvious fact that no legal “commerce” in marijuana exists.
“Since the federal government shows no inclination to back off this ridiculous interpretation of the commerce clause, it’s up to the state to interpose for its citizens. Many Kentuckians could benefit from medical marijuana. Who is some bureaucrat in Washington D.C. to say a cancer patient in Kentucky can’t have something that can potentially relieve his pain and suffering? Federal marijuana laws are unconstitutional and Kentucky would be right to join the 16 other states standing up to this federal usurpation of power,” Kentucky resident and Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said.
The Kentucky legislature joins eight other states considering the legalization of medical marijuana during the 2012 legislative session. To track medicinal cannabis legislation across the U.S., click HERE.