FRANKFORT, Ky. — A state representative from Northern Kentucky has filed legislation that would legalize adult recreational use of marijuana.
Campbell County’s Representative Rachel Roberts (KY-District 67) says that the legislation would open up new tax revenues, lead to the expungement of criminal records for potentially thousands of citizens convicted of weed-related misdemeanors, and will also open the door for those who suffer from chronic medical conditions to use the plant as an aid.
Here are a few key points to the proposed legislation, provided by Roberts and her office:
- The bill would dedicate up to 25% of the state’s cannabis revenue going toward funding addiction treatment, to reduce the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic
- The remaining funds would be placed into the General Fund to allow for flexibility in spending as needs change with time. The money would also be dedicated to helping establish the agricultural and regulatory frameworks needed to make legalization a success. A permanent legislative committee would provide oversight.
- Her bill would also decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of cannabis and provide free expungements for those convicted of a marijuana-related misdemeanor.
- On the regulatory side, the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would oversee four types of licensing – cultivator, processor, tester, and retailer – and each license would require an annual renewal
- Home growers would pay $250 for a permit, which would allow them to have up to five mature plants and five immature ones. All other licensees would have to pay fees based in part on their size.
Roberts points to Illinois as an example of the real-world benefit Kentucky could experience.
Only those who are aged 21 or older would be able to purchase recreational marijuana under this legislation. Smoking marijuana in public would also be prohibited.
The proposal, called “House Bill 467”, will be considered during the remainder of the General Assembly’s 2021 legislative session, which ends late next month.