Marijuana is a dangerous drug that, in many cases, leads people to use more lethal drugs later in their life.

Law enforcement officials will tell you that many of the people they arrest on drug-related charges started using drugs by smoking marijuana.

Nothing good comes from this drug.

Marijuana is illegal in Kentucky and it needs to stay that way.

There is a push, though, by state Rep. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, to legalize the drug in this state. 

Clark is sponsoring legislation called the Cannabis Freedom Act. The bill proposes legalizing recreational marijuana use for people 21 or older, decriminalizing offenses such as unauthorized growing and distribution and consuming cannabis in public and placing an excise tax on the drug. Clark’s bill is heavily based on Colorado Amendment 64, which legalized cannabis there in 2012. If passed – which is very unlikely, considering Clark’s bill failed to gain any traction in the legislature last year – all funds raised from taxes on cannabis sales would go to a new program called Kentucky Responsible Cannabis Use, which would distribute the funds to the Department of Education, the office of Drug Policy, the Law Enforcement Council and the General Fund. 

Couldn’t Clark introduce a less controversial bill that would divert funds to these agencies but doesn’t involve an illegal substance?

We think so.

Clark says his bill is based on a Colorado amendment that legalized cannabis. But Colorado politics and its values don’t even come close to matching up with Kentucky politics and values. 

Just because states such as Colorado have made cannabis legal doesn’t mean our state should. 

Warren County Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving, who opposes Clark’s proposed legislation, is correct when he says that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads users to abuse other drugs. Loving said he has yet to hear about a recovering addict who didn’t start with marijuana. 

Loving is dead on. Once you legalize marijuana, you open the floodgate for harder drugs to be sought by marijuana users. Loving is also on target when he says legalizing marijuana sends children a message that nothing is wrong with marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana in our state would send our children the wrong message. For that and the other reasons mentioned, we hope Clark’s bill gains no traction in the upcoming General Assembly.

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(14) comments

ocho99

Alcohol killed 33 thousand people 2015 and its legal compared to the 29 thousand of heroin and opiates that's 4 thousand more than a illegal drug so for everyone who drinks and doesn't support or goes against this bill you should be ashamed of your self while you sit and watch all the beer and liquor commercials with your family and its okay just BC it's legal now. So anyone who's argument is for the children your full of crap if anything this is better safer and more beneficial than alcohol worry about a drug that's killing thousands every year and not one that could help thousands every year. Go pro cannabis everyone be smart and join the revolution

ocho99

Anyone who drinks any sort of alcohol and does not support Dana is should be ashamed of them self's does anyone here know the drug that killed the most people in 2015? Alcohol with 33,000 death and its legal that's not including accident related deaths like drunk driving and doing something dumb while your drunk and in second place is opiates, herion,pills which are illegal and there at29,000 that's 4,000 so while you sit there and watch beer commercials while you watch the super bowl and argue that pot I a bad example and influence for our children? That's a load of crap and everyone's excuse so there's the facts about that's if that doesn't say something that just goes to show how closed minded and ignorant evey last person who goes against this bill

MistyV76

This article is the biggest load of garbage I've read in a while. "Nothing good comes from this drug". Really? Why don't you tell that to the 23 other states who have it legalized already. Or maybe you should talk to the parents of children who have epilepsy and no longer have to go through the agony of watching their child convulse 100+ times a day. The only reason marijuana is illegal is so the pharmaceutical companies can rake in profits while they kill their customers and so the oil companies can get away with murder while they kill our environment. Ridiculous and uneducated propaganda that you would think after 77 years would subside. There has been plenty of research done, mostly by the National Institute for Drug Addiction. That, in itself, is stupid. Why can't an independent agency do the research instead? God forbid the real truth come out to the masses. Then what would happen? I pray we will see the day when all of the propaganda of marijuana is shattered and the truth shines bright. We could have a happy, healthy population of people that aren't dependent upon pills to keep them brain washed into believing it's the only way they can have a decent life. Shame on whoever wrote this. I know it's only their opinion, but it's ignorant to perpetuate such lies when the truth actually exist. Ask any of the states that have it legalized already. See their statistics on every aspect. You will see there is less teenage drug usage among many other improvements to society. Heroin use and opiate addiction are on the decline in those states. So, you have to ask yourself, why is marijuana truly illegal? It's because when it gets legalized big pharma loses out on their cash cows.

elvisinky

Legalizing medical is different than making it all legal. Are you truly that naive to think those 23 states were actually worried about those who need it on a medical level and not for the tax revenue ? When you have pot smokers hijacking the issue then it loses all credibility.

Bob Talley
Voter / Taxpayer / Vet

MammothCave

The true "gateway drug," if there is such a thing, is tobacco, then alcohol next. This is the order by which gateway drugs are tried. They are what our parents warned us against, which made it more enticing by its forbiddennness. Tobacco smoking was an act of rebellion much more so than grass. Grass was used in my youth instead of alcohol. Now which do you think is worse, alcohol or -marijuana? Stupid clowns like your editorial board know nothing about which they write.

To me, watching my family be torn apart by alcohol is much worse than me lighting a joint so I could sleep away from home where no one would hit me. If you have not experienced this from your parents then shut your f'ing mouth. Alcohol made my dad punch me in the face like a punching bag and I do not drink alcohol as a result of this abuse. But I do smoke pot and plan to lobby for its legalization.

STFU about pot, you know-nothing idiot. If you are lucky, your children with eschew alcohol for marijuana. The real "gateway drugs are the legal ones, tobacco and alcohol and I will believe that grass is less harmful than alcohol any day of the week. Your editorial board skews too old and is resistant to change just like old people are supposed to be.

Legalized marijuana is coming to Kentucky and you old farts have nothing to say about it. So shut up and rock your rocking chairs like the old fogeys that you are.

MrAppalachia

SUGAR IS THE REAL GATEWAY DRUG that leads to a pill popping opiate addiction! In EVERY single legalized state cannabis has significantly reduced hard drug use and, in particularly, opiate based pill use/abuse/offenses! CHECK YOUR FACTS! Don't just take the word of some law enforcement tool guy who obviously makes money from cannabis remaining illegal! I am from Kentucky but have lived in a legalized cannabis state for over a decade now. I have seen what legalization does to the state economy FIRSTHAND! No more dead mining/logging towns, no more rural areas decayed by years of pill/meth/heroin use! Just vibrant farming culture marked by a spike in the arts,music,education and beauty! A surge in new local small business! Cash flowing abundantly! People excercising and eating healthier foods (the whole munching on chips and junk food stereotype is apparently a myth, probably stemming from tweakers actually) No more gang violence due to bootleg drug turf fighting/greed! Do you ever travel out of this state?!

elvisinky

ROTFLMAO. Please remain still while I attempt to find the two bricks your missing. Anyone that preaches the sins of tobacco and alcohol while ignoring the side effects of pot is just lying to themselves. Legalization of pot isn't the answer to all our problems. Did you actually do any research or apply some percentage of personal opinion and at least allow common sense to cross your mind or did you just go to High Times magazine and copy and paste for your reply ? Did I ROTFLMAO yet ?

elvisinky

My two puffs concerning the editorial “Pot should stay illegal in KY”.
I would suggest go to this link at PROCON.ORG and educate yourself about the issue. I found it very helpful and insightful.
http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000225
Marijuana is a naturally growing plant and one of many which has been proven to have legitimate medical uses. There are two active chemicals in marijuana that have medicinal applications. Cannabidiol (CBD) — which seems to impact the brain without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving qualities. Depending upon your sources there are twenty to twenty five health benefits from marijuana. These are facts and proven through legitimate studies.
I have read some medical studies and have seen firsthand the benefits of those with cancer, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines, epileptic seizures and chronic pain find relief from their suffering by smoking marijuana or taking a pill form and this is just a partial list of ailments.
Oh I just mentioned “pill form” and this leads me to the “selective memory” part of the pro/con medical marijuana debate. Yes you can gain medical benefits without actually smoking which is a real wrench in the works for those everyday pot smokers seeking to hijack the issue. California and Colorado are always brought up but the truth is smoking marijuana is still illegal on a federal level and it’s a false safety net. The abuses are glaring such as the “pot dispensaries” that agree night blindness while sleeping is a medical issue. It’s not about people and suffering it’s about taxes and turning budget deficits into surpluses. As for being a gateway drug I certainly think it is. The pot high is so variable depending upon the grade of pot that far too many seek that next faster and stronger feeling of “whatever” and it does lead some/many to Mushrooms, LSD or much worse as Heroine and Meth.
I’ve seen lots of mean drunks but never mean marijuana smokers. So that leads me into the questions of happy mediums. Is pot like beer and bourbon? So is one whole joint or two tokes okay while on break before getting back on your forklift, bulldozer or back in your semi-trailer truck? Do you want the gal at the local child care toking up? These are legitimate concerns. Personally I found it funny that those who so strongly supported smoking bans and preaching the sins of tobacco just happened to be marijuana legalization supporters. Really? Smoking tobacco or marijuana are twins in all aspects except legality. What about drug tests and employers? There are so many questions and concerns with this issue.
As far the elected go I guess passing the buck and the joint go hand in hand.
Bob Talley
Voter / Taxpayer / Vet

thomyv

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports a 25% drop in opioid drug overdose deaths in states that have a medical marijuana program. It seems just allowing the citizens access to marijuana can help with our heroin problem!

thomyv

I have been told you will again not bring up Perry Clark's marijuana bill. I can understand your reluctance given your background but you along with the rest of us have been lied to about this subject for 77 years.
If you are worried about what would happen if marijuana were legal I suggest you consider this. Those who would keep marijuana illegal claim having a medical marijuana program is a sham and the people can easily lie and have access. The citizens of California have had a medical marijuana program since 1996, 20 years. Ask yourself, where are the bodies? Where are all the bad things we have been told would happen if marijuana were legal? Women have used marijuana for menstrual cramps and morning sickness for 4000 years. In all that time there is no anecdotal evidence of problems with birth or birth defects. Surely if marijuana were really harmful to humans we would have heard something concrete by now rather than the ‘mights and maybes’ we have been told for the last 77 years.
Let’s move forward. Provide relief to those who need it and jobs and revenue for the benefit of all. Colorado has created 21000 jobs and collected 74 million in revenue from recreational and medical operations compared to 42 million in alcohol revenue. This market can be ours, we just have to grab it!

BrianB

With all due respect sir. I don't believe you've done any homework in the area you're speaking on. You are a victim of 60 years of prohibition and propaganda. Cannabis happens to be non toxic. It would take 15,000 pounds ingested in less than 15 minutes to have any overdose effects because the bodies of humans dont have the required equipment to overdose on cannabinoids. You're in more danger of a bail of it falling on you and crushing you than you are to overdose on the cannabis. The idea that cannabis is a gateway drug has been debunked. The real gateways are alcohol and drug dealers. Which you can remove the black market dealers all together by decriminalizing and regulating cannabis. You also cut off the cartels and their violence by allowing the plant to be decriminalized. You say it sends our children the wrong message. Don't you think that the pills and meth and heroin their parents use is sending them the wrong message? Cannabis is non toxic and there hasn't ever been a recorded death from cannabis. EVER!. What about the sick and dying children who's families have had to move away from Kentucky to get treatment for their little ones and loved ones. Sending them the message that our state will not allow their parents to choose a non lethal medicine for them is sending the wrong message. Cannabis comes with a message of hope and healing. It is not this terrible scourge you make it out to be. We have fought hard to gain industrial hemp back in this state. Our police officers cant tell the difference because they haven't been trained properly due to prohibition. The doctors don't have the right studies because the Federal ban on cannabis has limited the test results to only negative ones that were doctored in favor of keeping it criminalized. We fill our for profit prisons with non violent drug offenders who are guilty of nothing more than caring so much about their families, they are willing to provide them with medicine that wont hurt them or kill them and eventually heal them of their ailments. You are correct in one statement. Kentucky politics and values aren't like Colorado's. In fact, we are more humble and caring for our people than any state I know of. But our politics are so corrupt here, that we can't keep our politicians away from Big Pharma's deep pockets. None of them realize that the cannabis industry has far more of a benefit than Big Pharma money could ever provide. There is more money in the recreational cannabis industry than could ever be imagined. Our state is beautiful and our people are just as wonderful. They are poor though and sick and tired of being treaded upon. Who is the state government to tell us what we can and cant choose for our medicine for our own bodies. Whats criminal is keeping the most medicinal plant in the world away from our sick and dying. Cannabis is the best exit substance in the world. It can ease withdrawal from the heavy opiates and methamphetamine that has plagued Kentucky for so long. It can suppress and in some instances kill cancers. It can help chronic pain patients take their minds off of the terrible pain they face everyday. Enough so they can work and be helpful members of society. A society that has left them behind thinking there is no hope for them. We have to do something about the heroin and pharmaceutical issues here. Cannabis can help us rid our citizens of the awful addictions they have come to live with. We can help heal our broken state and would have enough money to fix the infrastructure, the schools, and anything else we see fit to spend the new revenue on. I can't believe you would be ok with arresting our way out of a drug problem that has festered simply because of prohibition. Good people have been wrongfully locked away for possessing a medicinal plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. You as well as everyone else knows Kentucky's cash crop is cannabis. They have removed the ability to gain profits from tobacco and other crops. We need hemp and cannabis to bring our farmers food to their tables. We need it to heal the sick and addicted. We need the revenue to rebuild this state. If you cannot see this, you are very much part of the problem. You have been lied to and have not taken the time to fact check your stance. If you did even one google search, you could see the benefits outweigh any negativity (which is so insignificant as is) surrounding this plant. I urge you, Do not lie to our citizens. Do not spread this filth and misinformation. People believe you. You have that power. Atleast take the time to use real facts and not opinion. We don't need any more big shot opinions. We need cannabis. We needed it 20 years ago and that's what Gatewood fought for. He fought for safe access to medicine for Kentuckians. We continue that fight today so we can shut out this kind of nonsense. Its astounding to me that this kind of false journalism stands here. The flood gates of hard drugs are already open. If you want to close them, then we will need to repeal prohibition laws and allow our citizens to choose cannabis to heal their addicted minds and bodies. We allow the police to police for the same drugs that the US government has been bringing in to dumb down the masses. Its no surprise that heroin related usage and deaths have skyrocketed because our boys are protecting the poppy fields. You say that we don;t need another hard drug in Kentucky. You say we don't need to send the wrong message to our kids and citizens. Well, the right message is heal yourself and those around you and fight off the hard drugs that run rampant in our lovely state. Cannabis is the answer sir, not the problem. Prohibition has lead to the hard drug problem here. Criminalizing and prosecuting people for drug use has not curbed the amount that people use. There will always be drug users. 13 years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. Crime went down 75% and overdose deaths fell 50% But teaching people the facts and not lying to them about the drugs, people can finally understand. We could take a 20th of the money the state spends on fighting and eradicating cannabis, and put that towards rehabilitation and needle exchanges. We can give our desperate addicts a way out of the undertow. We give them methadone for free when they are addicted and want to stop. We could proved them with a garden of cannabis and show them a way to begin to heal and become a functioning member of society again. There isn't a question of if it's going to happen, it's when its going to happen. For the world to make leaps and bounds forward in the grand scheme, they will decriminalize all drugs and treat people like patients rather than criminals. We cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem. We must end the miserable failure that the drug was has become and allow our people to heal. Cannabis is the future sir, whether you like it or support it, its on its way. People are waking up to the fact that they've been lied to. the DEA chief calls us clowns and has no idea whether cannabis is safer than heroin. There are more studies done on cannabis than most FDA approved and regulated drugs. All saying its non toxic and is the most medicinal plant in the world that can help with a host of issues and help patients heal. Your opposition has been noted and you will find that no one will listen to your outdated archaic nonsense any longer. So please, before you try to spread lies and continue on spreading misinformation, ask yourself if you want to perpetuate the police state and the ruining of peoples lives for a plant that can do more for our bodies and minds than any other medicinal substance. Which side do you want to be on. the side that helps heal the states sick and addicted and brings untold revenue back to the state, or will you continue to lie to us and flaunt your opinion. Because that's all this article is. Opinion. And its an outdated one at that. I expect more from those who have an outlet for their voice to be heard. I'd ask that you stop lying to us all before prohibition is ended. That is if you want to keep your podium and outlet. Because those that don't support the bettering of a state and nation will be left wondering why they have been excluded and shut out. Get your facts straight and do your research before it's too late. If you keep this outlook, the future will be very dismal for you. Neither you nor I can stop this. The cat is out of the bag and it cannot be put back in or covered up. People are waking up to the fact that they've been lied to for so long. The reasons we don't have cannabis are nefarious in nature and only support those who wish to be greedy and hurt those around them. They will no longer have the power to sweep the facts under the rug. Their time is over. Cannabis is here to stay. And its a better world because if it. Thanx for your time and consideration. I am so sad that this article even exists. It amazes me that people like you have not seen the benefits. I ask you, what if it was your child. What if you didn't want to pump them full of toxic chemicals that would kill them without really killing the cancers or diabetes. I Pray that you never have to experience what that's like. Having to make the decision to break the outdated laws based on no scientific merit to save the life of your family member. These laws force people to become outlaws. Above all, we all deserve the right to choose what we can and cant do for our own bodies. Neither you, or the state or the Fed has the right to tell us what we can and cant use for our medicinal or recreational purposes. Its not your place to tell me or anyone else what they can do for themselves or their families. I'm trying my best to be civil about this but its so hard not to lash out at this truly ignorant article and stance on drug laws. Ihope you see the light sir. I hope you find the facts and can admit that you were wrong. We will be happy to educate you on the true facts about cannabis. Just say the word and you will have the studies at your fingertips. Please sir, please do not lie or insilt orur intelligence any longer, Its wrong to do so. As a man of journalism, you know the dangers of reporting falsities. This no different and should be treated with utmost care. I urge you please,do the research before you speak ill of something you have no real idea about. Deal only in fact and not in opinion or propaganda. it should be a crime for journalists to lie to their readers and spread this nonsense.

MistyV76

I almost didn't post anything because you hit every aspect with your comment [beam] I'm so glad to see that the majority of the comments are pro cannabis and that the ignorance is slowly fading from the norm. Great job, sir!

gregj83

Mr Loving, stop being so high and mighty. You had no trouble condoning drug use when your wife was busted at the med center for stealing pills and you helped get her out of it.

gregj83

It takes a horrible individual to openly advocate throwing their fellow man in cages instead of relegalizing a plant that is largely harmless. Yes, harmless. The gateway drug argument is bunk and if there was a shred of morality and decency in this paper and in Mr Lovings office you would acknowledge that.

Kids grow up, what message does it send to ruin a persons life over consensually altering their state of mind. I guess one of next weeks articles will be about how we need alcohol prohibition back because, well, the kids you know. ...

And for the record, leap.org. Law enforcement against prohibition might be the place to start the next time this opinion gets re-written. That is if journalistic integrity becomes a thing at the daily news

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