Marijuana is presently a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act, meaning it is regarded as having no accepted medical value. Fortunately, that opinion isn’t shared by state Senator Perry B. Clark (D-Louisville), who sponsored SB 129 and told MSNBC: “Marijuana has positive medical benefits … I want to allow this as another treatment option.”

The “Gatewood Act” would permit a qualified patient to possess up to five ounces a month, allowing for an approximate consumption average of 35 grams a week, or patients can opt to personally cultivate up to five plants a month. Instead of creating dispensaries, the potential Kentucky law would assimilate medicinal cannabis into the pharmaceutical mainstream with Kentucky’s Board of Pharmacy administering a supplemental-certification program for pharmacies that will provide medi-pot.

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The bill is named for Louis Gatewood Galbraith, the late attorney, author and five-time candidate for governor of Kentucky who passed away in January at the age of 64 from complications of chronic emphysema. Galbraith, who went by his unique middle name of Gatewood, was a long-time champion of marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use as well as utilizing hemp for industrial and commercial purposes.   

And while Kentucky has long been renowned as a big-time pot producer (it had the second most outdoor plants eradicated by federal authorities among the Appalachian states in 2011, trailing only Tennessee), hopefully SB 129 can soon bring green medicine to the Bluegrass State. 

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