KY NORML Brings Patients to Politicians
In 2022, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order giving pardons to medical patients under select circumstances, after the Kentucky Legislative assembly spent yet another year without issuing any changes to cannabis legislation in Kentucky.
The good news is that Kentucky NORML isn’t waiting for 2023 and took the lead on getting legislation passed with an incredibly effective display at the capitol building!
All along the tunnel in Frankfort, individuals can find stories of Medical Cannabis patients from across every county in the commonwealth, who’ve used medical cannabis to treat a variety of ailments and diseases or have had to travel out of state to find the medical treatment they needed. The stories were collected over the course of the past year by Kentucky Moms for Medical Cannabis.
According to the KY NORML website, “It features a collection of 24 scientific research and quotes posters, as well as over 300 photos of Kentuckians who are either waiting to access medical marijuana for their illnesses or are forced to go out of state to obtain their medicine. “ The goal of the display is to allow individuals a chance to learn more about their friends and neighbors, and normalize the need for medical cannabis in Kentucky, as well as apply pressure for legalization to the legislature,
Intermingled you can also see educational posters on a variety of topics from supporting home grow, to how the endocannabinoid system works, to how we can reverse the effects of the war on drugs. Across from the posters, are a line of pill bottles labeled, “People over Profit”, a stark reminder of the suffering caused by pharmaceuticals in Kentucky from the Opioid epidemic, Southern Appalachia being one of the most focused distribution targets for pill mills in the United States.
"Some of them have passed already, fighting this fight. Some of them are children, from all walks of life, all counties. So hopefully with that piece of compassion they are also looking at the Kentucky NORML posters and seeing facts, and research, and science,” said Mathew Bratcher, the Executive Director of Kentucky NORML.
At the unveiling of the display, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was also in attendance, touring the display, talking with advocates, and even being among the first to sign a poster that visitors can place their name on, in support of medical patients and legalization.
The display has already received both increasing local coverage, as well as national attention, putting pressure on Frankfort to come up with an answer this spring on how Medical patients will be receiving relief. The project comes before a major push by KY NORML, Kentucky Moms for Medical Marijuana, and other groups for legalization this year in Frankfort. The display will be available to the public through the end of March and the end of the 2023 legislative session.
Throughout the legislative session, KY NORML members, KY Moms for Medical Cannabis founders Julie Cantwell and Kristin Wilcox, and other volunteers will also be speaking with elected officials and visitors to the capital, handing out information on cannabis, as well as advocating for the legalization of medical cannabis in Kentucky. You can visit the table from 10am to 3pm Tuesday to Thursday during the session.
According to Bratcher, ““While Governor Beshear’s recent historic action is an important step toward cannabis justice in the Commonwealth, Kentuckians are ready for and deserve more. Kentucky NORML is committed to working with legislators to advance the pragmatic and sensible cannabis policies supported by their constituents and our membership.”
On January 3rd, Bratcher, as well as others from Kentucky Moms for Medical Marijuana, the ACLU, the NAACP, Elected officials like Representative Nima Kulkarni, and more will meet with the goal of passing medical cannabis in Kentucky. From walking the poster walls with legislators, to convening advocates from across the state to connect, to the filling of a decriminalization bill by Rep. Kulkarni.
You can find more info here if you’d like to attend. You can check out the poster we sponsored below.