The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee held an informational hearing on the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act on Wednesday the 21st of August 2013. Supporters gathered at the capitol and testimony was introduced by Senator Perry Clark and many patients testified as to their use of medical marijuana and how they benefit from that use.
Significantly, Mr. Irvin Rosenfeld, one of four surviving patients left from the Compassionate Care Program which provided investigational medicine for critical patients was there to testify. Mr. Rosenfeld receives a tin of 300 marijuana cigarettes from the Federal marijuana farm at the University of Mississippi every 25 days to treat his multiple congenital cartilaginous exostoses which causes bone spurs to grow into his joints, a very painful condition that would have resulted in his death at a young age were it not for his use of medical marijuana.
Senator Katie Stine made a motion to adjourn because the Senators had to be in session, however the Chair rejected that motion and kept the hearing open to allow the patients who had come to testify to do so. Representative Robert Benvenuti made a point that if marijuana is good to treat anxiety it has a high potential for abuse and said he wants more research before he makes up his mind. Opponents claim there is no scientific evidence of marijuana’s safety, however this ignores the many studies and anecdotal evidence that says otherwise.
As far back as 1988, in the matter of Docket 86-22 Marijuana Rescheduling Petition, Administrative Law Judge Francis Young of the Drug Enforcement Administration ruled in part VII Accepted Safety For Use Under Medical Supervision, “Marijuana in it’s natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.”
One must also consider that statistics from the 20 States that do have medical marijuana laws show a decrease in teen marijuana use and in Colorado and Washington, 2 states having recreational marijuana, overall marijuana use is down. In order for these states to have these laws the laws must have passed a number of Public Safety, Health and Welfare, and Judicial committee hearings. Vetting the idea of medical marijuana laws has pretty well been done and it’s hard to imagine what we would find bad about marijuana that 20 other states didn’t find.
Actually the passing of State medical marijuana laws at this point, should be a routine and unremarkable bit of legislation as uncontroversial as naming a State highway after a respected Legislator, or naming a bill after a respected Gubernatorial Candidate such as Mr. Gatewood Galbraith.