A Kentucky Senator just introduced a new bill to legalize weed in the state. The move has sparked an active conversation among Kentucky lawmakers and could open the way for the state to adopt new cannabis laws. But what are the specifics of Senate Bill 80? And what are the chances that the bill will be signed into law?
A Kentucky Senator has introduced a new bill, Senate Bill 80, to legalize marijuana throughout the state. The new bill is trailing House Bill 166, which was just introduced earlier this month by the lawmakers of Kentucky, which gave medical patients the ability to utilize marijuana for the treatment of many illnesses. It looks as if Kentucky is progressively changing their views towards marijuana legalization and fast.
Last week, Republican Senator Dan Seum filed Senate Bill 80. The bill would establish several marijuana regulations as well as the legal framework.
Specifically, Senate Bill 80 would:
• Define legal limits for possessing, growing, processing, purchasing and consuming cannabis.
• Establish laws for driving under the influence.
• Set penalties for underage use and possession.
• Create a legal system for marijuana businesses and dispensaries.
• Establish a system for taxing legal marijuana.
Currently, the bill does not provide the exact limits regarding how much marijuana the state’s residents would be permitted to purchase or possess. But, the bill does specify that only adults 21 years of age and over would be permitted access to legal marijuana.
The new bill has initiated a debate among the state’s lawmakers.
Senator Seum stands firm that there are several significant benefits to legalizing marijuana, specifically that it can generate anywhere between $100 million and $200 million in taxes annually. Seum added that the bill would create a good number of new jobs with opportunities in not only the production but processing and sales as well. He also emphasized that legalization provides the state’s residents more freedom to choose how to live their lives.
“It gives people the right to conduct their lives as they so choose, to partake in a product they’re already partaking in, and we tax it and we generate revenue,” Seum said in an interview. “It’s already out there, it’s always very available to anybody who wants it. So, you legalize it, you tax it and the state gets the new revenue.”
Unfortunately, not all the have the same mindset as the Senator. Several politicians have already come out in opposition to the new bill. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Whitney Westerfield said he has concerns regarding impaired driving. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer stated that he completely disagrees with the idea of legalization. He also implied that there may be several politicians that are not keen on the idea of legalizing marijuana.
Although it is too early to tell whether we will see Senate Bill 80 come into law or not, but if it does pass, Kentucky will become the ninth state along with D.C. to legalize recreational marijuana.