Not taking an action that can provide such benefit in fighting this (opioid) scourge is not only callus and inhuman but also morally indefensible!


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By:  Msgt. Thomas Tony Vance, Alexandria, Ky.

Callus and Morally Indefensible!

Mercy Health Hospitals in an Op-ed in the May 11, 2017 Kentucky Enquirer talks about the opioid epidemic and calls for a multi-pronged approach in dealing with it. Their program of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, SBIRT, has screened thousands of patients. Unfortunately they do not give any stats that show the program is effective. They also state we should treat addiction as the disease it is. That is exactly what Nixon’s commission on drugs advised back in the early 70s. Instead we got the war on drugs!

As effective as the Mercy Health approach is, there is a more effective action that can drop the number of opioid overdose deaths by more than half. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, States with medical cannabis laws see a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in the first year after legalizing medical marijuana which grows to 33% by year 6. We can cut our opioid overdose deaths by a third simply by legalizing medical marijuana.

In Colorado which has both medical and recreational marijuana legalization, have seen a drop of 66% since medical legalization was approved in 2012. They had 479 opioid overdose deaths for 2015 and that dropped to 442 for 2016.

Let us compare Kentucky and Colorado. Colorado has 5.5 million people and Kentucky has 4.5 million. Colorado has comparable medical and addiction services and is similar to Kentucky in many ways. The only major difference is Colorado has embraced marijuana legalization and Kentucky, even though medical legalization polls at 80% favorability and recreational at 60%, has rejected legalization. Colorado’s numbers for 2015 were 479 and Kentucky’s were 1278, almost 3 times that of Colorado.

Given the facts of the benefits of marijuana legalization in preventing opioid overdose deaths by more than half, as is the case in Colorado, no one can claim to be serious about opioid addiction and overdose deaths without including cannabis legalization as a tool to fight this epidemic. Cannabis legalization, in reality, has a better record of mitigating this epidemic than any other policy that has been tried or is currently in use! I dare our legislators to name another policy that can drop the number of these deaths by a third. They can’t.

Veterans suffering from chronic pain and Post Traumatic Stress stop taking an average of 8 different prescriptions for pain meds and meds to deal with the side effects of the various medicines they are given when they start using medical cannabis. Veterans claim far better outcomes than their counter parts who stay on the VA cocktail prescribed for pain and PTSD.

We need credible action to fight this devastating epidemic. What we are currently doing is not effective. Adding addiction services will help but it seems the easiest, most effective and credible action we can take right now is simply to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational uses and watch the numbers fall! Not taking an action that can provide such benefit in fighting this scourge is not only callus and inhuman but also morally indefensible!


Send this to your Kentucky Legislators NOW!!!!

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Thomas Tony Vance

12 mins ·

Send this to your Kentucky Legislators NOW!!!!

In 1969, the 1937 marijuana tax stamp act was declared unconstitutional.

In 1970 they began creating the 1970 Controlled substances Act and without any scientific input made marijuana schedule one, right up there with heroin. A schedule that cannot be questioned or changed without the approval of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Very few drugs are in this category.

Now we know it was all a political scam to use the drug war to go after and suppress Nixon’s enemies. We know this for sure because the Nixon Administration said so.

The cover story in the April 2016 edition of Harper’s Magazine was, “Legalize it all” written by Dan Baum. Mister Baum was asking Nixon aide John Ehrlichman questions about the politics of drug prohibition and as he tells it, Ehrlichman asked,

“You want to know what this was really all about?” He went on to say, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? 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, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did”.

The new AG, Senator Sessions is saying he is going to step up the war on pot users. For what reason?

They claim States Rights when deciding whether or not to protect transgender kids’ right to go to the bathroom of their choice, but not when deciding a State Marijuana policy!

Please ease the fears of the tens of thousands of marijuana users in our State and send a message to the new administration that as a State we will not be bullied by the Feds.

PS: Scientifically, there is a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in the first year after passage of a medical marijuana bill that grows to 33% by year 6 after legalization. that means 250 of our citizens will die in the coming year if a bill is not passed this year.

So Git Busy!

You may never know but passage might save the life of one of your family members!

Ignorance abounds in Kentucky concerning cannabis law


In October, farmworkers transported harvested marijuana plants at Los Suenos Farms, America’s largest legal open-air marijuana farm, in southern Colorado.


The following story was printed on and my response is included.

By Thomas Vance

The world is watching Colorado and is finding out that everything we have been told by our government about marijuana has not been factual, to put it nicely.

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational in 2014. They have paid more than $150 million in taxes on $1.3 billion in sales for 2016 and have created more than 20,000 full-time jobs in the process and none of the predicted harms of legalization have materialized.

California has had an easy access medical marijuana program for 20 years and none of the terrible things we have been told will happen should cannabis be legal have happened.

All we have to do is copy Colorado’s regulations and standards and get on with it. What are we waiting for? The people in our eastern counties are praying for something to replace the coal industry. God has one ready to go for us and we are ignoring his help.

It’s like the old joke about the guy trapped on his roof in a flood. He prays for God to save him. A helicopter comes by and offers to pick the man up. “No, no, thanks anyway but God said he would save me.”

After a while a boat comes and offers to pick up the man. Again he says no because, “God will save me.”

Later on that night, the waters rose and the man drowned. When he gets up to Heaven He asks God, “Why, why God, didn’t you save me?” and God replies, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, why didn’t you get in?”

Let’s take this winning lottery ticket the good Lord has given us: an industry safer and healthier than coal. Alleviate the suffering of our eastern counties, create thousands of jobs, garner millions in revenue, enable billions in economic activity and put that money to work for the citizens of our great state.

It would seem that if we get to the end of this legislative session and nothing is done, one could reasonably conclude the Republican-controlled legislature is being derelict in its duty to improve the lives and the well being of our citizens and our state.

Thomas Vance of Alexandria is senior adviser for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access.

Sample of comments:

H.B. Elkins ·

Media Consultant at Kentucky Valley Media Consulting

Industrial hemp, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are three distinctly different and separate issues. Far too many times, advocates have appeared to champion the first two and then they show their true colors and advocate for the third. This puts a cloud of suspicion over the motives for supporting industrial hemp and medical marijuana.
You do your cause no favors by mentioning Colorado’s approval of recreational use if you are really advocating medical use. I suspect you are really for full legalization and are just using medical use as an incremental step.
Be honest about your motives. It won’t make me support recreational legalization — I don’t — but it will allow me to respect your efforts.



It is people like HB and JOHN below who are complicit in keeping the repeal of cannabis hemp laws out of KY. Unfortunately most of the politicians in KY have the same mindset.

It all boils down to who has the money now and who they don’t want to have any in the future.

Personally, I am not a legalizer, I am a repealer, meaning that I believe all Cannabis statutes from the Federal Government and UN should be abolished as they are illegal to begin with in my opinion. (Do your own research because I am tired) Legalization renders to regulation which renders to incarceration because, well, what can be more profitable than the prison industrial complex?

This plant has been useful for all of humanity’s existence and will continue to be,  regardless of whether it is legalized or not. (Again, do the research).. The sad part is all the people that could be helped (and one day it may be YOU) that will suffer and die needlessly because of evil people whose only concern in life is how much money they can scarf up from everyone else.

In the meantime, many peoples lives are being saved or at least made better by an illegal plant that God put here, by people who are risking there very lives to get this to those that need it – real patients.

Yes, there are those of us who enjoy smoking a good cannabis ‘cig’ – It helps relieve the mind of stress and pain. Sure is a lot better than the alcohol which most people consume on a daily basis and end up dying from in the long run…

So, I guess until everyone gets their heads on straight about Cannabis, everyone will continue to suffer from statutes, regulation, and imprisonment because people are either too stupid to educate themselves, or are too evil to care.

Which one are YOU???



Marijuana Foes Losing Direction in Kentucky

With Thomas Tony Vance and Angela Gatewood.
Thomas Tony Vance


An Informational Town Hall meeting on Medical Cannabis was held on November 8. 2015 in Alexandria, KY sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Campbell County Post 3205 Auxiliary and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. Having given the keynote speech at that event I was surprised and somewhat curious when immediately afterward the opponents of marijuana legalization organized and held one on December 1, 2015. The ‘Marijuana Summit’ was published as giving both sides of the issue.

I attended the event. They offered a ‘Legislative Breakfast’ and all our local legislators were there. They seemed to be very close with the organizers of the event. During breakfast Mr. Tony Coder, the Assistant Director of Drug Free Action Alliance, presided over a lively discussion of the issues. Senator Perry Clark, who attended, responded to the notion that since we already have a heroin problem we don’t need to legalize another drug. Ignoring the obvious attempt to link heroin with marijuana Senator Clark pointed out the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of a 25% drop in opioid drug overdose deaths in states that have medical cannabis programs and that that percentage is increasing.

The response was a change of subject.

I was struck by the snarky way Mr. Coder regaled us with the story of him breaking California law and lying to obtain a medical marijuana card to prove how easy it was to get one. At this point I was able to get a word in and posed him this query.

California has had medical marijuana since 1996. You say that’s a scam and Californians can access marijuana any time they want. Ok, I’ll give you that, (when I said that he looked surprised, then I continued), however that means the citizens of California have had easy access to marijuana for 20 years. You have to answer this. Where are the bodies? Where are all the bad things you all say will happen if marijuana is legalized?

Another change of subject.

Mr. Coder repeated his easy access claim during the next session on marijuana prohibition history. I quickly pointed out that he proves my point.
Change of subject.

The 3rd session was a speech by Mr. Ed Shemelya, the National Coordinator for the National Marijuana Initiative, a retired police officer who worked extensively with the High Intensity Drug Task Force and gives speeches for a living. He did point out, among a load of numbers that if 2 of the 6 states that will have legalization on the ballot pass it in 2016 it is, as he put it, “all over folks!”
Oh I wish it were true!

I had to leave at the halfway point. The first session after lunch was about hemp which is legal and really only a problem for the helicopter eradication program. The last was about the last 2 Monitoring the Future surveys concerning teen access and use which has not changed significantly with legalization. The interesting thing here is that with the exception of medical need supervised by a Doctor, no State has or will legalize marijuana for anyone under 21, so it’s really a moot point.

They always come back to protecting the children. I wonder? Marijuana has been used by women for menstrual cramps and morning sickness for 4000 years. In all that time there is no anecdotal evidence of birth defects or problems in birth resulting from marijuana use during pregnancy. Given the role we now know the cannabinoid system plays in maintaining good health and the fact of marijuana’s zero toxicity, one can envision a future in which ones Cheerios come, “fortified with THC for your protection”.

The ‘Marijuana Summit’, although misguided was certainly sincere, however we would be better served by them joining in as legalization comes and helping to craft effective policy rather than opposing it completely and having no say in the policy eventually enacted.



Pot forces come out in NKY


NKY groups for and against legal marijuana get their word out early.

(Photo: The Enquirer/Amanda Rossmann)

Talk about legalizing marijuana didn’t stop at Ohio’s southern border.

Just weeks after voters rejected the issue that would have made marijuana legal in Ohio, Northern Kentuckians for and against the idea for the commonwealth are voicing their opinions and gathering support for their views.

A career Air Force veteran from Campbell County who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder invited Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana, KY4MM, to Northern Kentucky for a town hall meeting on Nov. 8.

Thomas "Tony" Vance, 65, said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from being sexually abused as a child. Now he speaks out on behalf of other veterans who are suffering from PTSD and find marijuana to be "the only" way to feel normal.

Vance wants marijuana legalized in Kentucky. KY4MM is lobbying specifically for medical marijuana.

Meanwhile, drug prevention groups in Northern Kentucky are organizing for a "marijuana summit" on Dec. 1 in opposition to legalizing marijuana in Kentucky.

"My main concern has and always will be the impact (legalized marijuana) has on children, teenagers specifically," said Bonnie Hedrick,  coordinator of the Northern Kentucky Prevention Alliance and Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy. "When substances are available, kids are more able to use them. One example we have is prescription drugs. When they’re available in the household, kids are much more likely to use them. Also alcohol and tobacco."

The Ohio issue and a nationwide push toward legalizing marijuana helped spur the Kentucky foes of legalized marijuana into action, and their determination to push ahead even when Issue 3 failed. "The fight isn’t over," Hedrick said.

In the two weeks since the Nov. 3 election, when voters rejected Issue 3’s legalization plan, the Ohio Legislature has promised to examine options to allow limited access to medical marijuana. The campaign director for Issue 3, Ian James, said his organization has been meeting with voters across to state, and will propose an alternative initiative for the 2016 ballot.

Vance said the meeting supporting legal marijuana in Alexandria on Nov. 8 drew about 30 people, including some from outside of the region. KY4MM, which was established three years ago, led the town hall. Its founder and executive director, Jaime Montalvo, said the group has found it difficult, but not impossible, to swing Kentucky legislators to its side.

Montalvo said the turnout in Northern Kentucky was about average for town hall meetings his group has had around the state, adding, "A lot of people are still afraid to come."

Drug prevention coalitions in Northern Kentucky, meanwhile, have their Marijuana Summit, offering a daylong series of discussions about why marijuana shouldn’t be legalized in the Bluegrass state.

Kim Moser, director of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, said the community meeting is a chance for folks to get facts about marijuana.

"Our office is engaged in community outreach to educate, ensuring folks get accurate information," Moser said.

Those who attend will hear "both sides" of the argument to legalize marijuana, she said, "and get an understanding of the national landscape in terms of unintended consequences in states where marijuana has been legalized." The agenda includes discussion about marijuana and the adolescent brain and hemp versus marijuana.

Moser said that in light of the current heroin epidemic that Northern Kentucky is experiencing, her office is encouraging "a drug-free community altogether."

Montalvo, founder and executive director for KY4MM, said that in the past few years he’s heard from numerous families throughout Kentucky who want medical cannabis legalized in the commonwealth. "They would rather use cannabis than the opioids that they are prescribed," he said.

Medical marijuana has already been an issue before Kentucky legislators.

Last year, Kentucky Rep. Greg Stumbo, speaker of the House of Representatives, introduced a medical marijuana bill. It never passed committee. And in 2014, Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, introduced a bill that would let Kentuckians use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. The bill also died.

Another measure was enacted that allows trial use of cannabis oil to treat children who have seizures. But that law had many obstacles written into it and has not yet been useful for parents who have children with seizures.

To register or learn more about the Northern Kentucky Marijuana Summit, go to or


Let Us End This Huge Mistake

MSgt Thomas Vance USAF Ret. Published: March 24, 2014 11:02AM


~~Doctor Michael Privitera, in his op-ed piece in the Kentucky Enquirer titled, ‘Research medical marijuana for epilepsy’, dated 23 March 2014, repeats the myth of marijuana being linked to adverse mental health outcomes with his comment, "Research in recreational marijuana users indicates a risk for learning and behavior".  It is the marijuana and psychosis myth that is loudly touted by the prohibitionists whenever medical or recreational legalization comes up! There is NO link proven between psychosis and marijuana use. This comes from a 2007 Lancet article which reviewed several improperly done studies. The Lancet article is here-
They are debunked in this article—’t_make_you_crazy,_but_dealing_with_the_lies_about_it_will
This particular Lancet article was used by Peter Gordon while running for Prime Minister of England. He called for increased penalties for marijuana users as a means to get votes.  It backfired on him and his top medical official quit over it. The myth of marijuana and mental illness started as ‘marijuana causes schizophrenia’ and is now down to, ‘marijuana causes learning and behavior problems in teens’, something that has never been proven. One thing one has to take note of is that all these supposed studies all say, could or might, could indicate, Etc. None say it does. It’s another prohibition myth that refuses to die!
The real question one must ask is what about all the other illnesses that children suffer from that can be helped by the medical use of marijuana?   What about their suffering and the suffering of thousands of our citizens that can be helped?  Do they not deserve the same consideration as epileptic children?
In reality much research has already been done on marijuana around the world and some of the discoveries are quite astounding.   Research at Complutense University in Spain has shown that when the cannabinoid THC is introduced to several different cancer cell lines in the test tube, in vitro, the cancer cells die.  This is one of the studies driving current research on marijuana’s effects on cancer.  An article about this can be accessed here-
Marijuana prohibition has been a huge mistake and I would estimate that thousands of Americans have suffered and died unnecessarily because of it.  Let us put this colossal mistake to bed.  Let us end marijuana prohibition in America.


What’s Up With Cannabis Reform In 2013

thomas vance Published: December 17, 2012 11:30AM

Msgt. Thomas Vance


Well the year is ending and we are looking forward to the New Year with hope and anticipation when it comes to marijuana law reform. Several big changes are working their way through the system but there will not be any changes to the drug law situation till after the New Year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in January to, according to Senator Patrick Leahy Chairman of the committee, hold a hearing in light of recently passed State laws legalizing personal marijuana use. Given the fiscal constraints of Federal Law enforcement, Leahy asked in a letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske how the administration plans to use Federal resources in light of new laws in Washington and Colorado, as well as what recommendations the agency is making to the Department of Justice. Time to start burying that committee in letters! Listed below are the current committee members. They might change after the new Congress in January but most will remain the same.

Senator Patrick Leahy, D Vermont, Senator Herb Kohl, D Wisconsin, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D California, Senator Chuck Shumer, D NewYork, Senator Dick Durbin D Illinois, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D Rhode Island, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D Minnesota, Senator Al Franken, D Minnesota, Senator Christopher Coons, D Delaware, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D Connecticut, Senator Chuck Grassley, R Iowa, Senator Orrin Hatch, R Utah, Senator Jon Kyl, R Arizona, Senator Jeff Sessions, R Alabama, Senator Lindsey Graham, R South Carolina, Senator John Cornyn, R Texas, Senator Michal Lee, R Utah, and Senator Tom Coburn, R Oklahoma. When you write them be sure to address your letters and emails to Judicial Committee Member Senator so and so, or address the letters to the committee as a whole. This is important as Senators do not address concerns of the constituents of other Senators and they will tell you to write your own Senator, but as the committee or a member of the committee they should take your letter under consideration.


There stood the real Mitt Romney naked before the Electorate!

For All To See

9/22/2012 8:51 AM EDT Tags: Romney, Republicans, 47%, politics

As the procession moved down the street, one of the children pointed and shouted, “He has no clothes on!”, and suddenly the spell was broken. There stood the real Mitt Romney naked before the Electorate!

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, in a glaringly honest bit of speechifying, bared his soul and revealed his true self and that of his wealthy supporters. The opinion Mr. Romney and his supporters hold of their fellow citizens is one of resentment and indignation that those on the low end of the financial spectrum should get the assistance of the Government to be successful or to just get by. That somehow wealth equals good people and poor equals bad, dependent and lazy people. Never mind the fact that almost all successful citizens have had the help of either their families or the Government in the creation of their success. There is even a video of Mr. Romney’s mother saying that Mitt’s father was grateful for the assistance he received from the Government when he first returned from Mexico.

Mr. Romney claimed that 47% of Americans pay no income tax. That these citizens are dependent on Government handouts, lazy and feel that things like food and housing are entitlements. Statistics show that of those in the 46.4% of the citizens Mr. Romney and his supporters disparage, 28.3% pay payroll taxes and of the 18.1% who pay no payroll taxes, 10.3% are elderly or Veterans and 6.9% are non elderly but make less than 20,000 dollars a year. None of these citizens make enough money to pay income taxes. They do pay plenty in State, sales and local taxes but I guess these don’t count! As bad as all this is for the Romney Campaign and for the rest of America’s opinion of the wealthy there is a greater lesson to be learned for Americans living in the lower end of the financial pyramid.

The Republican Party in it’s current form is a wholly owned subsidiary of the wealthy elite and as such , the views of the leader of the Party are the views of the Party. Americans in the despised 47% who have traditionally voted Republican need to wake up and realize that this is not the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan anymore. This Republican Party could care less about you and yours, unless of course you make enough to pay Federal income taxes. All this Party wants is your vote. They will use any social issue they can to include religion to con you out of your vote. Mr. Romney’s utterances at his $50,000 a plate fundraiser are exactly how these wealthy people feel and are the same as that of the Republican Party. As much as one might feel traditional loyalty to the Republican Party the fact that remains is this; if you make less than $200,000 a year and vote Republican you are not only voting for people who don’t like you , but are voting against your own financial interests. The Party has abandoned you and will not represent you even if you vote for them. Why would you want to vote for them anyway?


Pot Petition Case Evidence Solid

Pot Petition Case Evidence Solid

thomas vance Published: September 2, 2012 10:44PM

When the Federal Appeals Court for the DC District begins taking evidence on October 16th in the appeal of the denial of a petition to reschedule marijuana from schedule I ( dangerous and having no medical value), to schedule II (dangerous but having medical value), one of the most important pieces of evidence to be presented will be the work of Dr. Igor Grant. Dr. Grant is a Professor of Psychiatry and is the Director of the state funded Center For Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego. The Center has completed 13 studies on medical marijuana and has found that smoked and vaporized medical cannabis is effective and beneficial for patients suffering from cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and particularly chronic pain from a variety of conditions. These gold standard double blind studies also concluded that although there is some potential for abuse of medical marijuana, marijuana more closely resembles drugs in schedule III. Generally, adverse effects from marijuana use are mild to moderate and they decline over time. There have been no reports of overdose causing fatality from medical marijuana use.

Additional evidence likely to be used is the work of Dr. Donald Tashkin. His study of the possible connection between lung cancer and smoked cannabis resulted in some startling conclusions. As reported in Scientific American, the study of more than 2000 participants found no increase in the risk of developing lung cancer in people who use smoked marijuana. Those interviewed for the study included 611 cancer patients, 601 patients with head and neck cancer and 1,040 patients as controls. All participants were under 60. Additionally 80% of those with lung cancer and 70% of those with head and neck cancer had smoked tobacco while half of them smoked marijuana. As has been shown in many studies more tobacco smoking resulted in more cancers.

When researchers controlled for tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, smoking marijuana seemed not to have an effect. No link was found between smoking marijuana and developing head, neck, and lung cancer. The researchers concluded that marijuana seemed to have an anti cancer aspect to it and indeed other recent research has born this out. Research world wide supports the fact that marijuana is a relatively safe medicine effective for a number of conditions.

When the evidence is tallied up the Court will be left with only one conclusion. Marijuana is a safe and effective medicine and it should be rescheduled to more accurately reflect the facts regarding it’s use. This was the conclusion of the Administrative Law Judge for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Francis L. Young in his 1988 decision, “The evidence clearly shows that marijuana is capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people and doing so with safety under medical supervision… it would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the Drug Enforcement Administration to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance”. In that case the DEA got a appeals court to overturn the ruling, this time, with the DEA’s back against the wall, reformers will be waiting anxiously to see how the DEA will respond to the courts ruling should it not be in their favor, panic can make for some interesting outcomes.

Kentucky Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally

There is going to be a news conference in room 154 of the Capitol Annex as Senator Perry reintroduces the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act on July Thursday the 5th.
Kentucky Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally – The State Journal





thomas vance Published: June 30, 2012 9:51PM

Supporters of last years medical marijuana bill, Senate Bill 129 the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act attended a barbecue and rally held Wednesday June 27th at the home of State Senator Perry Clark of Louisville who filed last years bill. Citizen activists from Winchester, Alexandria in Northern Kentucky and from all over the Commonwealth were in attendance. Ron Moore of Kentucky Veterans For Medical Marijuana, Tony Ashley of Free the Weed Kentucky, Lynne Wilson of Hemprock Radio which broadcasts out of Cincinnati across Northern Kentucky, on line, and on Public Access Television, and numerous citizens interested in a medical marijuana law for Kentucky’s sick and disabled citizens were there to discuss our options for getting a bill thru the 2013 Assembly.

After a fine repast Senator Clark gave a short talk and stated his intention to rewrite and refile the bill prior to the Assembly convening. Senator Clark’s original bill was filed late in last years session and given the fact it was a busy year for the Assembly, it never got past it’s first stop, the Senate Judicial Committee chaired by Senator Jensen. Senator Clark said this is the year for getting this bill passed and indicated that Senator Jensen was also interested in moving the bill forward. Senator Clark stressed the importance of contacting your State Senator and Representative by mail and also to call and visit their offices to press our case. The Senator then went around the group asking for suggestions for making our case and getting the word out to supporters and those citizens who maybe wouldn’t use medical marijuana but see the frugality in continuing marijuana prohibition.

Many suggestions were discussed for getting the message out and stressing the benefits, medical, financial and bureaucratic of a comprehensive medical marijuana bill for Kentucky’s citizens. Benefits like increased revenue for state and local coffers, positive economic impact as a result of people being employed in the industry, lower rates of traffic accidents, teen usage, prescription drug abuse, criminal justice costs, the freeing of police to focus on serious crimes, an alternative crop for our beleaguered farmers and lest we forget, the pain and suffering we will be helping our sick and disabled citizens to endure, the effect of which can’t be measured except in the relief in a sufferers eyes will result with the passage of this bill.

Every state touching Kentucky’s borders are working on some form of medical marijuana bill as we speak and those states are going to need a supplier. We have a unique opportunity to fill the market and a medical marijuana bill can get us prepared for when these other bills come on line and the Federal prohibition of marijuana finally comes to an end as it most certainly will.