- Republican Senator, Dan Seum, smoked cannabis to help him through chemotherapy
- Seum is backing a bill which would legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes in Kentucky
- Seum’s own granddaughter “partakes” in medical cannabis for her epilepsy
- The bill could allow low-income patients to grow cannabis at home
- One of the Bill’s backers, Senator Nemes, previously opposed medical cannabis but has since changed his mind
A group of bipartisan lawmakers in Kentucky, USA, introduced a bill which would legalise cannabis for medical purposes last week.
Among them is Republican Senator, Dan Seum, who personally used cannabis to help treat the side-effects of the chemotherapy he was undergoing for cancer seven years ago.
Seum explained in a press conference how doctors tried to give him “a nice bottle of Oxycontin,” to help him through the chemo.
“I threw it in the garbage.. went home and smoked a joint,” the 77-year old defiantly proclaimed. “And guess what? No nausea. I was able to function. I was going through the (chemo) treatment.”
The medical cannabis was so successful, the Senator was able to continue his day-to-day routine unhindered by either cancer or the chemo:
“It was during the legislative session, I did not miss a day due to nausea from the cancer.”
Senator Seum tells a press conference how smoking cannabis helped him deal with the pain and nausea from chemotherapy
Seum has told other Republican Senate leaders that he will provide studies on the potential medical benefits of cannabis, refusing to feel ashamed of publicly announcing his use of cannabis.
The Senator also argued that the current prohibition on cannabis criminalises vulnerable patients, such as his own granddaughter who “partakes” in cannabis to help treat her epilepsy:
“Wouldn’t it be nice if my granddaughter was no longer a criminal.”
The 149-page bill includes regulations for growing and processing cannabis into medicines, as well as dispensaries.
The founder of Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis, Michael Raus, believes the bill has the potential to create a $100 million industry in Kentucky.
Currently, the bill would ban patients smoking cannabis in public, but leaves room for them to smoke it within their own homes.
As well as prohibiting advertising, the bill would also require grow operations to be indoors, complete with tight security systems and effective programmes to monitor inventory to reduce the risk of theft and to maintain high standards of quality.
“[Due to medical cannabis] I did not miss a day due to nausea from the cancer.”
– Kentucky Republican Senator, Dan Seum
According to Republican Representative Diane Stone, the bill also has proposals which would accommodate low-income patients, allowing them to grow up to six plants at home, so long as they have been prescribed cannabis by their doctors and local law enforcement agencies are made aware.
Republican Rep. Jason Nemes, who initially opposed medical cannabis was he ran in 2016 now supports the bill:
“I am quite confident a majority of House members support it.
“If we get a vote, the numbers will be above 60.”
However, the bill is unlikely to get a vote this year, so current medical cannabis patients in the State will have to continue living in fear of being prosecuted for their choice in medication.
There is still staunch opposition to legalising cannabis for medicinal use within the Republican Party.
Republican Senate President, Robert Stivers, described cannabis as a “gateway drug,” denying that there were any credible studies proving medical benefits of the plant, other than “it make you feel good.”
Over half of the States in the US now have access to medical cannabis, could Kentucky be the next?
Follow us on Facebook for more medical cannabis news.