January 19, 2018, Kentucky
In Kentucky, a GOP senator, Dan Seum, has introduced a bill to legalize cannabis this week. He highlighted the fact that legalization of cannabis can expand the income stream of the state who is suffering from a financial crunch.
Seum, a member of Republican leadership team of Kentucky Senate, says that the bill will allow the use of cannabis for adults 21 and above. He is of the belief that it’s time for the state to become a part of legalization movement taking place in different parts of the country.
Seum provides a very simply rationale to legalize marijuana. He says that the substance is available and accessible to people even in the state of prohibition. So why not make it legal, tax it and add a new stream to the state’s income.
As of now, District of Columbia and eight other states have legalized programs for adult-use and they are reaping the monetary benefits of the legalization. According to some rough and early estimates, the taxation of the production, processing and retail of cannabis could generate revenue in the range of $ 100-200 million per annum. This revenue will help the local government to finance several public welfare projects.
A day before the introduction of this bill, Republican Governor of the state, Matt Bevin suggested expenditure cuts of around six percent across the state administration. Kentucky legislators are also gearing up to revamp the state’s dismal pension system.
However, all Republican senators in the state are not on the same page. Robert Stivers, president of the senate, says that he and Seum share similar opinion on many issues, but cannabis legalization is not one of them. He also thinks that bill won’t be able to garner the required support from the senate.
Damon Thayer, the majority leader, also voiced his opinion against the bill. The chairman of Judiciary Committee of the senate has raised concerns about the reckless driving under the influence of cannabis. But Seum has made it clear that such individuals will be tried for DUI cases as usual. He also makes his case by stating that the legalization will unburden the law enforcement agencies and will save valuable resource exhausted in the prosecution of petty cannabis crimes.
The legalization of marijuana will also help in improving employment rate in the state. The establishment of cultivation, provision, manufacturing and retail facilities will make a whole new window for employments.
He has also given a libertarian tangent to his bill by saying that legalization will facilitate people to spend their lives on their own terms. Seum’s son is also a cannabis advocate. Last year, he co-filed a lawsuit against the unjustified ban of the state on medical cannabis. But circuit Court upheld the ban by terming medical marijuana as a hallucinogenic and narcotic drug.
It might take a considerable time for the state of Kentucky to get the recreational use in place. Nevertheless, we are keeping our fingers crossed regarding the Seum’s bill in the senate.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]