Kentucky: GOP Senator Introduces Bill to Legalize Marijuana

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Kentucky Sen. Dan Seum (R-38th District), the GOP’s Majority Caucus Chairman and one of the state’s highest-ranking elected officials, has introduced legislation targeting the legalization of recreational marijuana.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported the Kentucky Sen. suggested that legalizing adult-use marijuana would generate new revenue for the state’s anemic coffers, potentially adding more than $100 million annually to the commonwealth’s general fund.

The projected tax proceeds generated by a legal marijuana market could represent a fresh stream of cash to pay down the state’s spiraling liabilities – currently hovering just south of $38 billion.

Sen. Seum’s bill, SB 80, would allow for the possession, growth, use, processing, purchasing, transfer, and consumption of marijuana in Kentucky by adults over the age of 21.

Referred to as a “jobs bill” by Seum in October, SB 80 would legalize the operation of retail marijuana shops, “consumption establishments, cultivation facilities, cannabis testing facilities, and product manufacturing facilities,” according to the bill’s summary.

Sen. Seum rationalized his yearning to legalize recreational marijuana with potential new income, a reduction in Kentucky’s administrative court costs, and a drastic downsizing of its nonviolent prison population.

“I’m looking at adult use because that’s where the money is at. And those states that have just done medical marijuana, it doesn’t generate near the money that adult use does.”

Senate President Robert Stivers (R-25th District) is less than supportive of the legalization proposal and believes the legislation lacks the necessary backing to successfully pass the Republican-led Senate.

The introduction of SB 80 comes on the heels of a medical marijuana bill (HB 166) filed in the Kentucky House of Representatives on Jan. 10.

Safer than Kentucky bourbon for the state’s 4.5 million residents, legalized marijuana enjoys the support of 68 percent of residents in the Bluegrass State.

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Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

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