Group pushes to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky

Inside a packed Marshall County Library, it’s the stories not in books but in person that have the crowd’s attention.

"We’ve got to go beyond the fear," said Paula Willett, who is a medical marijuana supporter.

For more than 20 years Willett pushed for a medical marijuana law in Kentucky that would allow people like her to legally use the drug. She said doctors told her in the late 1970s it was the best option to deal with her anxiety and depression. "At that point, it ceased being recreational. It was a necessity," she told Local 6.

In recent years she’s been told it could help with her glaucoma to relieve pressure around the eye. "The cannabis use was actually keeping the pressure not so high," Willett said.

The spokesman for Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana said the group has held more than 30 town halls during the past two years. He said he’s met hundreds of people looking for legal help but have no place to turn. "There’s many people that don’t want to break the law but want to try to have safe access," Jaime Montalvo said.

Montalvo has multiple sclerosis and said marijuana can calm the effects. He created the group years ago to not only find help for himself, but for others who have similar stories. Willett says she’s not planning to give up the fight to honor those who’ve had an end to theirs.

"The word marijuana was the government’s name to make it sound evil when they decided to make it illegal," she said.

Senate Bill 13 is currently in a committee after being introduced earlier this year. It also allows for recreational use, with certain limitations. Montalvo said there should be a stand-along medical marijuana bill filed next week that would not allow for recreational use.

There is another town hall meeting scheduled for 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Christian County Library.

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