Lawmakers say they want more proof before they will approve medi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lawmakers say they want more proof before they will approve medical marijuana

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- It relieves pain, eases nausea and improves the lives of cancer patients.

That is the message a Louisville doctor took to Frankfort, Wednesday, as he pushed for legalization of medical marijuana.

It's not the first time that lawmakers in Frankfort have heard the case for medical marijuana, but this time it was a cancer doctor delivering the message.

“I treat patients all day, every day who are dying or suffering,” Dr. Stacy told members of the legislature’s Health and Welfare committee.

Stacy says he was a skeptic, but the patients he saw at his clinic in Louisville changed his mind; patients who admitted using marijuana illegally, and found relief from pain, nausea and the side effects of pain pills.

Now Stacy is pushing lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana.

“I'm here today because I sincerely believe that medical cannabis will help my patients,” said Stacy.

Senator Ralph Alvarado, who is also a physician, says he's open to the idea, but concerned about the lack of real clinical research.

“We don't use anecdotes or subjective information to make decisions. We want to have science and data behind that to approve those kinds of things going forward,” he said.

Stacy admits he does not have scientific proof of the medical benefits of marijuana. It's not possible until the federal government loosens restrictions.

But Stacy says legalization should not wait for research.

“That doesn't really address the issue of patients are suffering now. It takes 5, 10, 15 years to produce medical products,” Stacy told WDRB following the hearing.

Alvarado says it's unlikely anything will happen in Frankfort until marijuana first proves its worth in the lab.

“For the few doctors that you hear commenting, saying ‘We like it,’ you have just and many, and probably more, saying, ‘We think it's a negative thing that can cause other problems.’” Alvarado told WDRB.

So far, no marijuana bills have been pre-filed for the 2017 General Assembly, but supporters say they expect several after the November election.

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