State Senate floor leader says medical marijuana bill is dead

The latest effort to legalize marijuana for medical use in Kentucky is “done for the year,” the majority floor leader of the state Senate told Austin Horn of the Lexington Herald-Leader Thursday.

“I have said all along I wouldn’t stand in its way if we had the votes, but we do not have the votes in the Senate,” Republican Damon Thayer of Georgetown, an opponent of House Bill 136, told the newspaper.

Generally, Republicans who have 30 of the 38 votes in the Senate will not put a bill before the full chamber unless a majority of Republicans support it. Thayer “did not offer comment on the whip count among the GOP caucus or when he came to understand that the bill was dead in the Senate,” Horn reports.
In the House, just over half of the Republicans who voted on the bill voted for it, Horn notes. It passed the House 59-35. A similar medical marijuana bill passed the House in 2020 but died in the Senate.
The latest bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, did not immediately respond to a call from Kentucky Health News. He told Horn that he was “still trying to get senators to support HB 136.”
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