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Medical marijuana deserves OK

We believe that people who are suffering from terminal illnesses that cause immense pain should have options to help mitigate that pain.

No one with a terminal illness should have to live out the remainder of his or her life in pain. Forcing a person to endure such discomfort is simply inhumane, which is why more options should be available for the gravely ill to help ease their pain in their darkest times.

We believe that the use of medical marijuana helps some of those who are dealing with immense pain as a result of diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and leukemia and other health issues.

Thirty-three other states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. We believe they did so because they, like us, believe that medical marijuana helps people battling these diseases. While we are not in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use across the state, we are in favor of allowing medical marijuana.

For years, some Kentucky legislators have introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, only for it to be voted down. Now, after years of setbacks, it looks like it is gaining momentum after recently clearing the state House by a vote of 65-30.

The proposal now goes to the Senate, where it appears it might face a little tougher challenge than it did in the House.

Senate President Robert Stivers told reporters last week that he believes the measure has a “narrow path” to Senate passage, the Courier Journal reported. He raised concerns about the lack of conclusive studies by federal entities such as the Food and Drug Administration.

If ultimately passed and signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear, the legislation would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis and set up a regulatory framework for patients to obtain it at approved dispensaries. Smoking medical cannabis would not be permitted under the bill. It could be consumed in forms such as pills and oils.

Under the bill, a regulatory board would determine what conditions would qualify for doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients. The House amended the bill to guarantee that the approved conditions for a marijuana prescription would include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and nausea or vomiting.

State Rep. Jason Nemes, RLouisville, the bill’s lead sponsor, put it best when he said: “This is not about fun. This is about healing. This is about health.”

We agree with Nemes. Some have argued that this legislation is a gateway to legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. We wholeheartedly disagree that this is an attempt to legalize recreational marijuana usage, and if it ever came to that, this newspaper would be firmly against it. We believe this legislation is an attempt to give people battling life-threatening and terminal illnesses a chance to live out their time on this earth with as little pain as possible.

This is why we urge the Senate to pass this bill, so that those suffering from terminal illnesses can live their limited time in a lot less pain in situations where medical marijuana would be a benefit.

— Bowling Green Daily News

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