Together we will send Richard to Frankfort to be a fighting voice for the 35th District!

Cannabis/Marijuana

Everywhere I go around district 35, knocking on doors and talking to folks in this community, there is one issue that comes up frequently that seems to unite people across class, geography, race, age, gender, and all other lines. And that issue is cannabis.

Kentucky spends millions every year arresting, prosecuting, and housing people for non-violent drug crimes related to marijuana. Every year, countless thousands of Kentuckians cope with chronic pain and terminal illness by using prescription painkillers that can lead to long-term addiction and other negative side effects. Further, a 2013 study by the ACLU found disturbing racial disparities in marijuana-related arrests, with African-Americans six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.

We must legalize cannabis. But how we implement this matters, too. That’s why I’ll fight for the following provisions to be a part of any marijuana legalization policy in Kentucky:

  • Disproportionate imprisonment of people of color and low-income white folks must be addressed with an amnesty for those in prison due to marijuana possession/small-scale sale.
  • The communities most punished for small scale marijuana use/sale need to have access to the economic rewards of legalization, unlike in other states where it’s only rich white folks getting the loans, licensing, and benefiting from the profits. An example of this is in Massachusetts, where race is one of six factors that leads to quick approval of a dispensing license.

Across the country, states are bringing in hundreds of millions in annual revenue from the taxation of regulated marijuana products — revenue those states are using to meet pension obligations, fund public schools, and provide much needed services to their people.

It’s long past time for Kentucky to join the growing nationwide consensus around this issue and legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis. Legalizing marijuana is a no-brainer for our state and I will support policies that advance this aim when I am elected state representative.

Read More

Colorado Pot Tax Revenue Surpasses $500M
US News & World Report

Alison Grimes: Let’s get medical marijuana bill on Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk
Louisville Courier-Journal

Poll Shows Major Support for Medical Marijuana in Kentucky
WFPL News

Poll: 64 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana
The Hill

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