Jan. 16, 2014 —
“For this to get anywhere in Kentucky, I think you’re probably going to have to start with the oil and it’s going to have to be dispensed by pharmacies,” Denton said.
Montalvo interrupted her more than once, contesting several things Denton said about marijuana or the political climate regarding legalization. At one point, Clark called Montalvo over to where he sat with lawmakers and advised him “to keep it cool.”
Bill Polyniak of Lexington also has a child who suffers from epilepsy. He told Denton that a slight change to a law about industrial hemp which passed last year would make the CBD oil available in Kentucky. He offered anecdotes from studies in which a child suffering as many as 250 seizures a day saw those reduced to nearly zero after ingesting small amounts of the CBD oil.
As he spoke, others in the audience held up framed photos of children in their families who suffer from seizures.
Clark disputed Denton’s assessment that the public isn’t ready for a bolder move on medical marijuana. “The people are ahead of the politicians on this,” Clark said, adding he’s unwilling at this point to weaken his bill to allow just the CBD oil to be used.
He also accused the government of “90 years of lies and propaganda and nonsense,” as the pro-legalization audience applauded.
Clark, who is in the minority in the Republican controlled Senate, has offered the legislation in the past without success. But Denton’s interest in the CBD oil’s potential benefits is an indication some opinion may be shifting, though it’s unlikely there’s any sort of sea change in the General Assembly.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, recently said he’s “open to learning more” about the medical benefits of marijuana after hearing from the parents of an autistic child in Floyd County. Stumbo said he hasn’t decided to support the idea, but he is interested in learning more about it.
Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at email@example.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.