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Pot Politics

It’s strange to see so much time and energy spent on a plant that used to (and probably still does) grow wild in our state. But those are the cards that have been dealt. So State Senator Perry Clark is still hoping to get medical marijuana passed – or even voted on – in Kentucky, and meanwhile, in Colorado, the first hemp crop is already being harvested. That’s right, the crop that we said would be legal to grow in our state if it ever went legal federally, is already being grown and harvested in another state.

Colorado, of course, has the advantage of making marijuana legal, not just for medical use, but for recreational use as well. Hemp, even though it doesn’t contain enough THC to make someone high, is still illegal under federal law. Hemp is a variety of marijuana and all marijuana is illegal federally.

The US Marijuana Party of Kentucky, which has both the communist manifesto and the Ten Commandments displayed on their home page, claims that hemp is already legal to grow in marijuana, simply because the DEA isn’t prosecuting anyone for it in Colorado. But there’s a real difference between the letter of the law and the enforcement of the law.

When Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice wouldn’t be seeking to overturn state marijuana laws, nor prosecute those who were following state laws, Colorado farmers took it upon themselves to start growing hemp. Could Kentuckians do the same?

Maybe. As it stands, our state law doesn’t do anything except rely on Congress to make hemp legal. Which it hasn’t.

Meanwhile, State House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he’s open to the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical use in KY. So all-in-all, it appears the winds of change are coming. But many residents are cautious enough to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” And that’s probably the wisest course.


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