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Committee fails on medical marijuana

With all the public debate about pensions and teacher pay, you may have missed the news this week that 14 legislators passed on the chance to move forward a House bill proposing to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky.

For the record, this is not an editorial saying Kentucky should open the floodgates to legalize marijuana in Kentucky. This is, however, an editorial that says it is time for a new approach to this issue. The old fashioned, heavy handed lock up anyone in possession of marijuana approach has obviously failed, and this is particularly true when it comes to people with seriously grave medical conditions.

Is marijuana good for you? Absolutely not. Should you do it? No. But, is there plenty of evidence that those with serious medical conditions, like multiple sclerosis, cancer, and epilepsy, could benefit from using it while under the supervision of a physician? The answer, quite clearly, is yes.

Thus the Legislature should do what any functioning Democratic body should do — take a full vote on it. Let the Legislature as a whole decide. Or, put it to the people for a vote. Let the people decide. Instead, we have 14 legislators shelving a bill because of politics, an unwillingness to accept the current approach is flawed, or ideology.

Not acceptable.

The cost of health insurance and going to the doctor is oppressive for many. People with serious medical conditions — under the care of a physician — should in our opinion have this option if said physician believes it will help them. And, 14 people on a committee shouldn’t get in the way of what might ultimately be a wise approach to public policy when individuals’ health is at stake.

The Daily Independent of Ashland