Marijuana Reform in the United States:
Right now there are currently 23 states in the U.S. that have passed legislation that permits medical marijuana and 4 states that passed legislation that also permits recreational marijuana. The idea of marijuana reform is gaining steam and is even being debated in the current presidential campaign. It is a topic that is relevant and one that is building momentum. During the October presidential debates, Hillary Clinton learned that the public favored Bernie Sander’s support for marijuana reform and she has since relayed that marijuana should now be removed from the federal Schedule 1 classification. Politicians across the land are making their voices heard regarding marijuana reform and it may be helping them gain favor. One example of this happened recently in Kentucky.
Election in Kentucky and Marijuana Reform 2015:
The race for governor of Kentucky was a heated one, but Republican Matt Bevin won the election by a nine point margin. He beat Democrat contender Jack Conway. While these two were on the campaign trail, they made headlines over their disagreements regarding marijuana reform. Bevin supported medical marijuana reform and Conway did not. Their opinions were voiced during a televised debate in October and the information that was disseminated helped one, and hurt the other. Now that the election is over and Bevin came out on top, it is apparent which opinion was favored by the majority.
Specifically, during the televised debate which was heated at times, Bevin relayed that he would support legalizing medicinal marijuana and seek to legalize the medical use of the drug if he were elected. This position does not follow party lines for Republicans. Conway said that he did not support medicinal marijuana because the medical community is not asking for this legislation. Again, Conway’s stance is not necessarily aligned with opinions held by many in his party. Breaking from common party philosophy helped to push Bevin to the victory in Kentucky even though he had trailed in early polls versus Conway. During the debate process, Bevin relayed that there is currently enough “unequivocal medical evidence” that cannabis can therapeutically benefit patients. As a result of this evidence that Bevin recognizes, he plans on supporting the development of comprehensive medical marijuana programs in the state of Kentucky during his tenure. He believes that medicinal marijuana can be prescribed just like any other prescription drug. Apparently, so do many other folks in Kentucky that voted him into office.