- Chad C Rediker
Legislative Calendar Leaves Little Time for Cannabis Bills
Even though cannabis advocacy is an all year endeavor the lawmakers of our commonwealth have only the total of one month to make laws for better or for worse. In this odd-numbered year the legislature only meets half as long than in even-numbered ones. This means that if a bill does not have enough upfront support it could wither in committees as time runs out which is what happened to last years MMJ bill. The first part of the new session has already started with “focus on organizational work, such as electing legislative leaders, adopting rules of procedure and organizing committees.”
The second part begins on Feb. 5th and last 30 legislative days until it is scheduled to be adjourned on March 29th. Keeping up with the cannabis bills is very easy with the Bill Tracking tool found at https://kentucky.gov/services/pages/billwatch.aspx. It doesn’t give you a progress bar based on all the committees it has to go thru but it at least shows any legislative movement. For example, SB80 is already in the Health and Wellness Committee. HB136 was introduced to the House on Jan.9th.
What can we do in that time span? First, be sure to attend the Cannabis Rally at The Rotunda on Feb.6th to help get lawmakers attention. Secondly, call or email your representative and senator and let them know you and your friends support these bills. Finally, talk to neighbors and co-workers and challenge them to think why cannabis should not be treated like alcohol.
The Legislative calendar can be seen at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/calendars/19RS_calendar.pdf