Prohibitionist Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Fears People will Overdose on Marijuana
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin said that he will never allow recreational marijuana to be legalized in Kentucky, so long as he is the governor. The governor of Kentucky used Colorado’s increase in pot-related ER visits as the reason that he is opposed to recreational marijuana, saying that the hospitals are overwhelmed. People are indulging in edibles and end up overdosing.
Several weeks ago, a Kentucky senator announced his support for recreational pot. Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale, said that Kentucky could use the profits from marijuana taxes to pay out pensions, which is expected to be short $200 million for next year.
Those who are opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana cautioned state legislatures last week about their concerns. Richard Sanders, who is the Kentucky State Police Commissioner, said that legalization won’t supersede the black market, despite evidence to the contrary. He added that it was a myth and that he wasn’t willing to forgo his grandchildren’s futures for his pension.
The director of the National Marijuana Initiative also testified for Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection, citing higher potency as the reason for his opposition. Ed Shemelya said that marijuana now contains 30 percent THC. It is true that some strains can have up to 30 percent THC, but NBC reported that the average is only 18.7 percent THC. He added that the DUI’s related to marijuana have also increased in Colorado since legalization.
The committee has requested more research on the matter from the Food and Drug Administration as soon as possible, but with the governor threatening to wield his veto power, it’s not likely marijuana will be legalized in Kentucky anytime soon. Bevin’s term ends in 2019 and if he is re-elected, he will be governor until 2024. If citizens want legalized marijuana, they will need to start voting in local elections.