The state of Kentucky made cannabis legalization headlines earlier this week after a state senator introduced a bill to legalize marijuana. By week’s end, however, a major law enforcement group in Kentucky had already begun pushing back against the proposed legislation. And in a resolution posted to their Facebook page, Kentucky police chiefs formally oppose weed legalization.
Kentucky Police Chiefs Formally Oppose Weed Legalization
On Wednesday, Republican state senator Dan Seum made that case that Kentucky should get in on the legalization trend cascading across the United States.
Senator Seum made the proposal by emphasizing the revenue the state stands to gain by ending its prohibition on cannabis. According to sources, Seum estimates Kentucky could generate between $100 million and $200 million in tax revenue. It’s a strong argument in a cash-strapped state regularly facing budget shortfalls.
Suem, however, faces a tough battle in the legislative chamber. Not many other state senators are on board with his proposed bill, including Senate President Robert Stivers.
And the odds for legal marijuana in Kentucky just got a lot longer today. In a resolution published on Friday, Kentucky police chiefs formally oppose weed legalization.
With opposition from state lawmakers on one hand and law enforcement on the other, Senator Seum’s bill already appears dead in the water.
Senator Seum’s bill would legalize medical and recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older. Additionally, the bill establishes a loose framework for regulating the production and sale of cannabis.
Kentucky Police Chiefs Say Weed Is “Contrary To Public Health”
The Kentucky Association of Police Chiefs is pushing back against Seum’s new bill. And they’re doing so by appealing to the threadbare arguments in favor of prohibition.
According to the resolution, legal marijuana is “contrary to public health, safety and welfare of Kentucky citizens.”
For the KACP, legalizing marijuana is tantamount to an endorsement of drug abuse. As such, their resolution claims to “preserve the rights of citizens to live and work in a community where drug abuse is not accepted.”
But Kentucky police chiefs aren’t just setting their sights on recreational legalization. They oppose legal cannabis use in all of its forms, including medical uses widely recognized as beneficial and legitimate.
What the KACP resolution fails to mention, however, is that most of their concerns are in fact fueled by the prohibition on cannabis. The resolution cites criminal activity associated with the sale and possession of cannabis, for example.
Then, there’s just the factually inaccurate. The resolution claims that “marijuana, like cigarettes, is addictive.” Of course, cannabis does not create anywhere near the chemical dependency nicotine does.
The resolution isn’t all bunk, however. It does reference that cannabis use poses a danger to adolescents and young people. Scientific research has indeed pointed to the deleterious effects of cannabis on the developing brain. Nevertheless, many young people receive life-saving cannabis-based medication for a variety of diseases, including severe epilepsy.
In other parts of the country, law enforcement officials have come out in favor of legalizing marijuana. They argue that ending prohibition frees up resources to combat more serious crimes and helps mitigate the consequences of a racially biased of the War on Drugs.
Kentucky, however, is not one of those places.