Northern Kentucky state representative introduces legislation to legalize Recreational Marijuana

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Northern Kentucky state representative introduces legislation to legalize Recreational Marijuana

Will Kentucky be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana?

 A new bill introduced hopes to make that a reality.

House Bill 420 has been introduced and is still in the early stages.

The sponsor of the bill, Rachel Roberts, D-Newport, says she doesn't want Kentucky to miss out on the marketplace and wants to learn from the challenges Ohio is still facing.

"What Ohio did is roll this out in one of the worst ways you can," Roberts said. "And obviously, the will of the people was not being heard by their legislature. So, the people had to take the initiative of a ballot initiative, but the state wasn't ready for it.

"The framework hadn't been thought through. I want to make sure that Kentucky doesn't get caught flat-footed like that, that someone has taken the time to diligently work through the process to bring all of the stakeholders to the table," Roberts continued.

With Ohio still defining its framework around recreational marijuana, Roberts tells WLWT that Kentucky's bill already has plans for the state to legalize, expunge, cultivate license and tax cannabis. You would also have to be 21 or older to buy or use.

However, some lawmakers are pushing back, like Boone County Republican Rep. John Schickel.

"We're sovereign states. If someone wants to go to Ohio and live by laws, that's fine with me. But I think it's bad for Kentucky," Schickel said. "I believe that it will not pass this session, but I do think that that's where we're headed. I'm a realist, even though I'm against it."

Last year, Kentucky passed a measure legalizing access to medical marijuana, but it doesn't take effect until next year.

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Region: Kentucky

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