A Republican senator from Kentucky has introduced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, citing his recent battle with cancer as one of the major drivers behind his decision, the Associated Press reports.
State Senator Dan Seum, who was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago, told reporters that doctors initially prescribed him the opioid Oxycontin to cope with the pain of chemotherapy. “I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoked a joint,” the 77-
Seum was one of a group of Republican and Democratic state lawmakers who introduced the bill. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 33 other states and is gaining support among the Republican majority in Kentucky. However, the bill is unlikely to get voted on in the 100-member state House of Representatives this year. Legislators said they will not call the bill for a vote if the state’s Senate would not support it-and Republican Senate President Robert Stivers called marijuana “a gateway drug” with few credible studies showing its medicinal value.
If passed, the bill would not allow people to smoke marijuana in public but doesn’t address home use. Other stipulations include a ban on advertising, a requirement that plants be grown securely indoors, and a program to track inventory.
Meanwhile, Seum said he would provide state legislators with more research on the medical benefits of marijuana and said he had no qualms about admitting he used the drug.