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Is This The Year Kentucky Will Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Listen to the episode:

Why does Louisville have so many fish fries?

Two measures have been introduced this session that would legalize the marijuana for medicinal use in Kentucky, create exemptions for dispensaries and rules for how physicians could prescribe it. This week on In Conversation with Rick Howlett, we talked about medical marijuana and what it could mean for the state if it's legalized here.

Our guests were:

  • Justin Lewandoski - veteran of the war in Afghanistan and a medical marijuana advocate
  • Dr. James Murphy - Clinical professor at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine
  • Michael Raus - Founder of Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis

Michael Raus , founder of Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis, said medical marijuana helps a lot of people. And Raus believes only a few groups are keeping states from legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.

“If medical cannabis became a nation-wide phenomenon, which it will eventually, the pharmaceutical industry is looking to lose billions of dollars,” Raus said. “So they’re going to fight this tooth and nail.”

Justin Lewandoski said medical marijuana has changed his life for the better. Lewandoski is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, and said he was taking around 20 pills for his treatments. He said switching to medical marijuana allowed him to stop using pills and lead a normal life.

Dr. James Murphy said there’s too many unknown variables for marijuana to be legalized for medical use. Murphy is a clinical professor at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine. He said smoking marijuana could have negative effects.

“In certain individuals it can actually create anxiety disorders. It can create a psychosis, schizophrenia-type of effect as well,” Murphy said. “We really have to make it so that the physicians that want to really care for people in that doctor-patient relationship are not at risk.” 

Listen to the full program in the player above. 

Next Friday on In conversation, we'll talk about Louisville Metro Government's looming budget shortfall, and Mayor Greg Fischer's proposal to raise revenue through a tax increase.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.

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