Feb. 7, 2013 —
Tony Ashley, another supporter who emceed the meeting, said Clark’s bill “is not about smoking pot, it’s about medicine, it’s about healing your body.”
Kallie Gentry, 20, a social work student at EKU who is originally from Columbia, Ky., said she’s observed people through her studies and work who suffered pain and other symptoms which marijuana could help.
A fellow EKU social work student, Mortisha Lynch, 31, of Richmond, said marijuana “is a plant. There’s no reason for it to be illegal.”
It can be effective in treating multiple symptoms, Lynch said, and costs far less than synthetic, artificially produced pharmaceutical drugs.
Both women said they do not use marijuana personally and each acknowledged smaller Kentucky communities may not be entirely comfortable with the idea of legalizing marijuana just yet.
Gentry said the people of her native Adair County “would probably say no” if asked whether to pass Clark’s measure, but she and Lynch said in communities like Richmond with so many younger students and in less rural areas, attitudes are changing.
Clark said with all the discussion of legalizing industrial hemp, a measure pushed by Republican Commissioner of Agriculture and supported by many in the Republican Senate, there is more willingness now than in the past to discuss marijuana.
“The atmosphere has approved a lot,” Clark said. “With the open discussion about hemp, things have changed. We couldn’t have had that discussion in the past.”
He doesn’t think the atmosphere has improved so much that passage of his bill is likely in the current session but Clark said he will keep pushing and “it’s just a matter of time.”
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.