A second bill has been filed in the Kentucky State Legislature that would legalize medical marijuana in certain circumstances, effectively nullifying unconstitutional federal laws which prohibit its use under any circumstances.

Introduced by state representatives Gregory Stumbo and Charles Miller, House Bill 3 (HB3) would create a medical cannabis program for individuals with a “debilitating medical condition that has been diagnosed by a physician.”

Among the bill’s text is as follows:

Notwithstanding any provision of state or local law to the contrary…a patient shall not be subject to arrest by state or local law enforcement, prosecution or penalty under state or municipal law, or denied any right or privilege for the medical use of cannabis in accordance with this chapter, if the patient is a cardholder and possesses an amount of cannabis that does not exceed the amount listed on the medical order.

In order to qualify, a patient must have a diagnosis from a physician stating they suffer from a debilitating medical condition and certification from that physician approving the use of medical cannabis. They then must complete an application for a registry identification card to be used for purchasing medical cannabis. A patient is prohibited from having a 60 day supply in their possession or purchasing that amount from a dispensary.

HB3 similar in language as Senate Bill 40 (SB40), introduced by State Sen. Perry B. Clark, which states that “a qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board, for the medical use of cannabis.”

The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.

“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.

As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in Kentucky, this cannot come too soon.

Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.

Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, HB3, like SB40, marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of Kentucky. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.

TAKE ACTION

In Kentucky: Follow the steps to support both bills at THIS LINK

In Other States: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they legalize medical marijuana by introducing a similar bill. You can find their contact information by clicking HERE.

TJ Martinell