(Frankfort, Ky.) - A Kentucky lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
State Senator Perry Clark (D-Louisville) presented the act Thursday in honor of the late Gatewood Galbraith, the Associated Press reports. The former Lexington lawyer and five-time gubernatorial candidate was a leading advocate for making pot legal.
"The concept of prohibition of a medicine that you grow with a seed that you put in a garden is an anathema to freedom," Clark said. "I say it's time we get brave. We educate. This is a liberty issue to me."
The legislation, dubbed the "Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act," won’t be considered at the statehouse in Frankfort until the next legislative session in January 2013.
Clark said he introduced the legislation now so that he can build support for it. A similar bill failed in the 2012 legislative session.
Kentucky State Police are among the most vocal opponents of pot legalization. KSP Captain David Jude foresees the issue causing serious challenges for the state’s law enforcement.
"To distinguish what would be grown and or possessed for 'legal use' versus 'illegal use' would prove to be difficult, making our enforcement efforts less efficient and possibly less effective,” Jude said. “I feel confident that our legislators will consider the impact that legalizing a drug like marijuana will have on all of our communities as well as law enforcement.”
Marijuana for medical use is currently legal in 17 states.