LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky lawmakers will have just two days next week to pass any remaining bills for this legislative session, and some of the measures they'll consider have been in the works for years.
Late Thursday night, Senate Bill 47, a bill to legalize medical cannabis, got its first reading in the House — a crucial step to keep it alive.
The bill, which allows people with certain medical conditions to use — but not smoke — marijuana, already cleared the Senate by a vote of 26-11.
"I think we’ll have very strong majorities and I think this will pass and it will come to Kentucky pretty soon," said Majority Whip Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, who has tried for years to get medical cannabis legalized.
He was working this week to make sure support is there for an expected floor vote on March 30.
"I’m taking nothing for granted," he said. "I’m calling 100 members of the House, even those who’ve co-sponsored the bill just to make sure that we get our job done."
Rep. Al Gentry, D-Louisville, said he has been working on the effort for several years.
"The bottom line is the people that I talk to, the people want this, and it’s my job in Frankfort to give the people what they want," he said. "The latest narrative is we need to get one or two more (votes). The question is, do we need to get one or two more to be safe, or do we need to get one or two more for passage? And you know, that depends on who you talk to."