Kentucky is one of the few states in America that has legalized neither medical or recreational marijuana. But if the Bluegrass Secretary of State has her way, that will change.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan-Grimes announced a new task force to study and propose the possible implementation of medical marijuana. In a statement, Lundergan-Grimes said it's beyond time that Kentucky begin this process:
"2018 is and must be the year when Kentucky finally steps up on medical marijuana. We have to get this done to help Kentuckians who are hurting," she said.
Lundergan-Grimes is one of only two Democrats that currently holds a statewide post in Kentucky. She also made headlines in 2014 by running against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the general election, which generated quite a bit of buzz. Lundergan-Grimes will co-chair the new task force alongside Democrat state representative John Sims.
"Kentucky is getting left behind on this issue. Already 29 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana legislation to help their people," Sims said. "The research is done. The studies have been conducted. It works, and it's time we end our idling and start having conversations to bring medical marijuana to the Commonwealth."
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is an interesting wrinkle in this issue. While campaigning for governor in 2015, Bevin declared his support for medical marijuana. However, he's also made no real effort to push the issue during his term in office and he's also made it clear that he opposes recreational marijuana.
Perhaps this task force will be the push Bevin and the state of Kentucky need to finally jump over the medical marijuana hurdle. Or perhaps it's another futile effort by progressive Democrats in a state where Republicans refuse to change.