Democratic Rep. Nima Kulkarni has pre-filed two cannabis bills ahead of Kentucky’s 2022 legislative
session to decriminalize and legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.
According to a recent article
from WKYT, if approved, the measures would remove criminal
penalties for small amounts of cannabis, allow adults 21 years and older to
buy, sell or possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, and allow ownership of up to
five plants for personal use.
Kulkarni explained that while
her second bill would remove penalties for possession of small amounts of
cannabis, the retributions for the possession of more significant amounts would
remain. Additionally, the measure would remove cannabis accessories from
Kentucky’s drug-paraphernalia statutes, according to the news outlet.
“I am sponsoring these
bills for several reasons, any one of which should be enough for them to become
law,” Kulkarni said. “First, current cannabis statutes have
needlessly and tragically ruined many lives, especially people of color who
have suffered because of unequal enforcement. Second, thousands of citizens,
from cancer patients to veterans suffering from PTSD, should have the right to
use something that gives them the mental and physical relief they deserve
without relying on stronger, potentially addictive medicine. Third, cannabis decriminalization
would give the state a much-needed source of reliable revenue without raising
current taxes a single cent.
“And, finally, polls have
repeatedly shown a majority of Kentuckians backs decriminalization and allowing
cannabis to be used responsibly by adults. Other states taking this step are
reaping considerable benefits, and it’s time for Kentucky to join them.”
According to the news outlet,
if three-fifths of the House and Senate approve the measures during the state’s
2022 legislative session beginning in January, the measures would then go
before voters next November.