Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- 20 states and D.C. have legalized medical marijuana. Now a Kentucky state senator is ready to bring a bill to the table.
Jaime Montalvo was arrested in 2011 for growing marijuana, but he says he's not a criminal. He suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses the drug to ease his pain.
"I never really feared the prosecution up until the time it happened. It helped muscles spasms, it helped me sleep," said Montalvo.
He says the benefits outweighed the legal consequences. Now, he's fighting to legalize the drug for medical purposes in the state of Kentucky.
Montalvo says, "Thousands of the people that do support it are afraid to come out and support because of the same problems I have, they don't want to be arrested for it, they don't want to loose their children, they don't want to lose their jobs."
"You ask yourself a question, is cannabis medicine? Yes or no are the only two answers, and the answer is yes," said Kentucky Senator Perry Clark.
Senator Clark has introduced a compassionate care bill twice before. He's hoping the third times a charm.
"We are moving in the correct direction, we have a lot of people who were adamantly opposed to us three years ago that have seen a lot of evidence," said Clark.
But people are concerned about what really happens when state legislature legalizes medical marijuana.
Martin Cothran is the senior policy analyst at The Family Foundation. He says he witnessed it first hand in California.
Cothran says, "They're passing out cards saying that you can get medical marijuana for things as trivial as jet lag and stress."
He says we don't need to fuel the fire of drug abuse, and legalizing medical marijuana should not be a priority.
"This is a controversial piece of legislation what we really do need is something like tax reform but these other proposals out there, medical marijuana, expanded gambling, all these issues are going to suck the political oxygen out of the air and its going to detract from things we need to do," said Cothran.
But Montalvo would tell you differently, he says legalization would help him live a better life.
There is an educational seminar about medical marijuana today at the Galt House where you can meet some of the people you just heard from in person.
Cannabis Academy starts at 10am and goes until 6pm. You can register for the event at the door.