Legislators, advocates disagree over medical marijuana
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – For years, Amy Stalker suffered from medical issues and couldn't find anything that helped her health; that's until she found cannabis.
"I was on different medications for bipolar that caused me side effects, seizures, hallucinations," Stalker said. "The only thing I could do to maintain health was move away."
After spending time in Colorado and Washington, she eventually moved back to Kentucky help her dying mother.
"I left a state where they use cannabis to treat cancer in hospitals," Stalker said. "I moved back to a state where she would be considered a criminal."
Stalker is now part of a lawsuit against Governor Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear.
"Just because some people benefit from it, doesn't mean that everyone will benefit from something," Kentucky State Senator Ralph Alvarado (R, Clark), who is also an internal medicine doctor, said. "There's as much carcinogens in marijuana smoke if not more than there is in tobacco smoke."
Alvarado said he wants more studies before he'll vote for any use of the plant other than ones already legal in the state: "I'm still waiting for the first study to show up in my email or to be delivered to my office."
Stalker said cannabis is already shown to be effective for chronic pain, cancer, PTSD, and seizures and that lawmakers just aren't looking at studies available.
"To at least have a sensible, reasonable discussion about the legalization of cannabis in Kentucky is long overdue," Stalker said.
"I think most of the medical community is open to that concept," Alvarado said. "We just need the studies and the trials to prove that it works."
Stalker's suit was dismissed, and the decision is now pending appeal.
Marijuana bills have been proposed before in Kentucky but failed.
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