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Kentucky State Representative Files Bills to Legalize Cannabis Ahead of 2022 Legislative Session

The measures would decriminalize and legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.

November 30, 2021

Democratic Rep. Nima Kulkarni has pre-filed two cannabis bills ahead of Kentucky's 2022 legislative session to decriminalize and legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.

According to a recent article from WKYT, if approved, the measures would remove criminal penalties for small amounts of cannabis, allow adults 21 years and older to buy, sell or possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, and allow ownership of up to five plants for personal use. 

Kulkarni explained that while her second bill would remove penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis, the retributions for the possession of more significant amounts would remain. Additionally, the measure would remove cannabis accessories from Kentucky's drug-paraphernalia statutes, according to the news outlet.

"I am sponsoring these bills for several reasons, any one of which should be enough for them to become law," Kulkarni said. "First, current cannabis statutes have needlessly and tragically ruined many lives, especially people of color who have suffered because of unequal enforcement. Second, thousands of citizens, from cancer patients to veterans suffering from PTSD, should have the right to use something that gives them the mental and physical relief they deserve without relying on stronger, potentially addictive medicine. Third, cannabis decriminalization would give the state a much-needed source of reliable revenue without raising current taxes a single cent.

“And, finally, polls have repeatedly shown a majority of Kentuckians backs decriminalization and allowing cannabis to be used responsibly by adults. Other states taking this step are reaping considerable benefits, and it's time for Kentucky to join them."

According to the news outlet, if three-fifths of the House and Senate approve the measures during the state's 2022 legislative session beginning in January, the measures would then go before voters next November.