(KY) This Week at the State Capitol


For Immediate Release

February 17, 2017

This Week at the State Capitol

February 13 – 17, 2017

FRANKFORT — Headlines in recent days have made it clear that Kentucky’s problems with heroin, other illegal opioids and prescription drug abuse, continue to take lives and devastate communities at a shocking rate.

In-state newspapers have recently reported the more than 52 drug overdoses occurred over a 32-hour period in Louisville, and nine overdose calls came in over 12 hours in Madison County. A national publication reported that one rural Kentucky county filled enough prescriptions over 12 months to supply 150 doses of painkillers to every person in the county.

The same conversations held across the state about the way the drug crisis is impacting the court system, police, health care workers, treatment facilities, social workers, prison officials and families are also being held in the State Capitol. Those deliberations resulted in a number of bills aimed at addressing the issue, including several bills that took steps forward in the legislative process this week.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 14, which is aimed at getting drug dealers off the streets by strengthening penalties for trafficking in heroin and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Under the legislation, which was approved on a 36-0 vote, trafficking in less than two grams of these substances would be elevated to a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison.

Later in the week, a pair of bills addressing the drug crises were also approved in the House committees.

House Bill 333 would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of fentanyl, carfentanil – a powerful opioid intended for large animals – and related drugs. Trafficking any amount of these drugs could result in up to 10 years in prison under the legislation. The bill would also restrict prescriptions for some painkillers to a three-day supply, though exceptions would be allowed in some circumstances. House Bill 333 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the full House for consideration.

The House Education Committee approved House Bill 145, which would help fight opioid addiction by requiring that public school students be educated about the dangers of prescription pain killers and their connection to addiction to heroin and other drugs.

Bills on other issues that advanced in the General Assembly this week include the following:

· Senate Bill 1 is a sweeping education reform measure that sets the course to change educational standards and accountability for public schools. The more than 100-page-long bill is an omnibus measure aimed at empowering state education officials, locally-elected school board members and teachers to decide the best teaching methods for their communities. It would set up several committees and advisory panels to review educational standards. The bill would change how students are tested, and it would also set up a new way for intervening in low-performing schools by placing more power in the local school district during those interventions. The bill passed the Senate on a 35-0 vote and now goes to the House for consideration.

· House Bill 14 would give police, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel protection under the state’s hate crime statutes. Under the bill, those who assault, kidnap, or commit certain other violent offenses against first responders could face stricter sentencing in court. Currently only the legally-protected classes of race, color, religion and national origin, as well as sexual orientation, are covered under the state’s hate crime statute. House Bill 14 passed the House on a 77-13-1 vote and has been sent to the Senate.

· Senate Bill 78 would require public schools across Kentucky would to go smoke-free by next school year. The bill would outlaw the use of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on elementary, middle and high school campuses in addition to buses. The bill was approved by the Senate on a 25-8-2 and has been sent to the House.

· Senate Bill 75 would increase the amount donors can contribute to election campaigns. Under the legislation, individuals and political action committees could donate $2,000 in the primary and general elections in Kentucky– up from the $1,000 limit. The bill passed the Senate on a 27-10 vote and has been delivered to the House.

· House Bill 192 would make it easier for 16- and 17-year-olds in foster care to apply for driver’s permits and driver’s licenses. The bill, which passed 96-0 before being sent to the Senate,  would allow those in foster care to get a driver’s license or permit without requiring them to have a parent’s or other adult’s signature on the permit or license applications.

Members of the General Assembly are eager to receive feedback on the issues under consideration. You can share your thoughts with lawmakers by calling the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at 800-372-7181.

You can also write any legislator by sending a letter with the lawmaker’s name to: Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601.

–END–

Sen. Morgan McGarvey Hosting Public Mtg RE: Medical Marijuana (KY) on February 18th in Louisville, Kentucky


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Senator Morgan McGarvey Hosting 2/18 Public Meeting

Legalize Kentucky Supporters:

Sen. McGarvey filed a bill to allow medical marijuana in last year’s Legislative session and is expected to do so again this year. We need to get a huge crowd to attend this Saturday to thank him for his past support, and show him there are still many supporters of this important issue!

Here is the information: 

Senator Morgan McGarvey

Public Meeting

10 AM

Saturday, February 18

Douglass Community Center

2305 Douglass Blvd

Lawmaker says top issue for constituents is marijuana; oncologist advocates for safe access


02/12/2017 12:39 PM

Far and away the largest number of phone calls from constituents of Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, are in support of marijuana legalization, and he says he’s heard plenty of other lawmakers also getting the calls.

Nemes recently published online what voters are calling him about, and in a phone interview with Pure Politics he said the calls on marijuana come in three forms: advocating for medical marijuana in pill form, medical marijuana that can be smoked and full-scale state legalization of the federally illegal drug.

“I’m getting contacted on all three of those areas, I don’t know where I am on it, but the Kentucky Medical Association tells me there’s no studies that show that it’s effective,” Nemes said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Dr. Don Stacy, a board certified radiation oncologist who works in the Kentucky and Indiana areas, said there’s a reason there’s no studies proving effectiveness — studies have not been allowed to take place.

“It’s one of those things where we can’t provide randomized phase three studies in cannabis without making it legal — that is the gold standard for any sort of medicine,” Stacy said. “We have a variety of studies of that nature from other countries of course, but American physicians are very particular about American data. The database we have now is plenty enough to say we shouldn’t be arresting patients for trying to help themselves.”

Stacy said he became interested in marijuana after he noticed some of his patients were doing better with treatment than similar patients. In reviewing their records and through private discussions with the patients, he learned “a significant portion” of those doing better were the patients using marijuana.

“I was surprised by that,” he said. “I’ve always been a skeptic of alternative medicines, but then I began to research the data. I was impressed with the data.”

Dr. Stacy said he’s had some particular patients who showed minor or moderate improvements or side effects, but patients who had to stop treatment because the toxicity of the treatment was so severe. The patients who had to stop treatment tried marijuana, and then they were able to complete their treatments showing “dramatic differences,” Stacy said.

Because of the improvements in patients, Stacy is advocating for safe and legal access to the drug.

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow access to medical marijuana in different forms. Through those states allowing access, Stacy said several show improvements outside of overall medical care.

In states that have legalized medical marijuana the suicide rate has dropped by 10 percent among males 18 to 40, he said.

“It says when people have serious medical or behavioral issues — if you cannot find the treatment that helps you then some people decide to end their lives, and cannabis apparently prevents a certain portion of people from doing that.”

Stacy said that there is also a 10 percent decrease in physicians prescribing narcotics in medical marijuana states. The effect of that, Stacy said is a 25 percent decrease in overdose deaths linked to narcotics in states with medical cannabis laws. With the level of heroin and opiate abuse in Kentucky, he said there would be positive effects seen here too.

“I think that one-quarter of the people who will overdose and die of narcotics in this state in this year would be alive if we had a medical cannabis law.”

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky: House Introduces Constitutional/Permit less Carry Legislation


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Kentucky House of Representatives introduced their own constitutional/permit less carry bill. House Bill 316, sponsored by Representative C. Wesley Morgan (R-81), recognizes Kentuckians’ freedom to legally carry a concealed firearm without the burdensome requirement of acquiring a Kentucky concealed deadly weapons license. It is of the utmost importance that this bill be scheduled for a hearing as soon as possible.

Your NRA-ILA would like to thank Representative Morgan and the House Leadership for understanding the urgency of this important legislation. The 2017 legislative session is short, and constitutional/permit less carry legislation must progress fast through the legislative process to have a chance at being signed into law this year.

HB 316 would allow any law-abiding individual who can legally possess a firearm to carry a handgun for self-defense in Kentucky without having to obtain a permit to do so.  This bill recognizes a law-abiding adult’s unconditional Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense in the manner he or she chooses.  Self-defense situations are difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate.  Accordingly, a law-abiding adult’s right to defend himself or herself in such situations should not be conditioned by government-mandated time delays and taxes.  Additionally, this constitutional/permit less carry legislation would keep the current permitting system in place so individuals who obtain a permit could still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that Kentucky has with other states.

Please contact your state Representative and state Senator in support of House Bill 316 and Senate Bill 7 by calling 1-800-372-7181.  Please continue to check www.NRAILA.org and your email inbox for alerts on the latest action items.

Happy Birthday Daddy!


In memoriam, for my Father…

Mom Dad 1941

Above:  Kenneth Eugene Hardesty and Marie Nelson Hardesty 1941

Kenneth Eugene Hardesty was born February 10, 1917 in Irvington, Kentucky.

He was enlisted October 10, 1941 out of Jefferson County, Kentucky and  Served in New Guinea, Southern Philippines (liberation); Luzon.

He received an Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with (3) Bronze Stars, a Good Conduct Ribbon, and American Theater Ribbon and Philippine Liberation, Victory Medal WWII.

He served as a Private First Class for over four years until he was discharged at the end of the war.

And then he came home and had me…In the baby boomer years!

For this I thank him and my Mother who so tirelessly worked to take care of me.

I will remember you and celebrate this day,

and I hope You will too, gathered with friends and family who have long since left this Earth,

For this is your 100th Birthday! 

A day that comes only once, and would not come in a time that we could celebrate together. 

But I will remember you forever!

May God Bless You Both where ever you are – I know you are in Heaven!

For all the love and hard work that you and Mom put into having and raising me,

I remember your birthdays, each and every year, even though you are not here to celebrate them with.

I will love you forever!

SHk

KDA proposes legislation to help feed the hungry


Ag News

 

Proposals would double tax credit for donated food, strengthen liability protections

For Immediate Release
Monday, January 30, 2017
For more information contact:
Angela Blank
(502) 573-0450

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has come forward with legislation to help businesses and .individuals who wish to donate food to organizations that serve hungry Kentuckians.

“These measures would provide incentives and protections for those who want to join the fight against hunger in Kentucky,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “This is due to the work of the Hunger Task Force, which met for the first time last spring. This is just the beginning of our efforts to reduce food insecurity in the Commonwealth.”

One proposal would double the tax credit for food products donated to food banks to 20 percent. The current tax credit is 10 percent and is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Quarles also called for the tax credit to be made permanent. Few Kentucky farmers know about the tax credit, and even fewer use it. The state Department of Revenue reported that only one taxpayer was approved to claim the credit in its first two years. Quarles said this measure would provide a stronger financial incentive for farmers to donate surplus foods.

A second proposal would strengthen the shield against legal liability for food donations beyond that of the federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, making Kentucky’s food donor immunity shield one of the strongest in the nation. The measure would provide a stronger immunity shield for individuals and businesses, and their employees, who donate to food banks; for food banks and their employees; and for landowners who allow gleaners to come onto their land to pick vegetables and fruits for the hungry.

Commissioner Quarles launched the first-of-its-kind Kentucky Hunger Initiative and formed the Hunger Task Force last spring to bring together farmers, businesses, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, government entities, and others to study food insecurity in Kentucky and take an inventory of the resources that can be utilized against the problem.

To raise awareness of the scope of the hunger problem in Kentucky, the KDA will join the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to host the annual Rally to Solve Hunger on Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. EST at the Capitol Rotunda.

Map the Meal Gap 2016, an annual study by Feeding America, revealed that one in six Kentuckians – including one in five children – was food insecure in 2014, meaning that consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year. Kentucky organizations that serve the hungry fed an estimated 58 million meals to approximately 611,000 Kentuckians in 2016.

For more information about the Hunger Initiative and the Hunger Task Force, go to kyagr.com/hunger.

What You Can Do to FREE Sam Girod


What You Can Do to FREE Sam Girod

Please do whatever you can! The Backstory The FDA is trying to put Sam in jail for 58 YEARS for a labeling infraction. Basic story here: http://www.davidgumpert.com/2783-2

Indictment here with explanations: http://www.kyfreepress.com/2017/01/fda-girod-indictment/

Local CBS affiliate story here: http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/WKYT-Investigation-Amish-farmer-in-jail-awaiting-trial-facing-time-in-federal-prison-411915635.html

What You Can Do

1. We beg President Trump to issue an immediate pardon for Sam.

Please sign this petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/free-ky-amish-farmer-samuel-girod.

2. An email to Trump could only help: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact 3. We sincerely hope that Atty General Sessions will step in . . . → Read More

The post What You Can Do to FREE Sam Girod appeared first on Kentucky Free Press.

 

Recent Articles:

KY Amish Farmer Jailed over a Salve Label; the FDA Wants Him Jailed for Life

Our mailing address is:

KyFreePress.com

312 Pine Crest Rd #117

Morehead, KY 40531

New bill would sell off 3 million acres of public lands


The Wilderness Society

The Wilderness Society’s mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places.

yesterday

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants to sell off 3.3 million acres of public lands, the latest step in a plan to seize Our Wild. Photo credit: Michael Jolley, flickr.

New bill would sell off 3 million acres of public lands

Under a recently passed House rule, a new bill would sell off 3 million acres of public lands — an egregious assault on Our Wild.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s bill identifies 3.3 million acres across 10 states to be ‘disposed of’ and sold off, just a few days after the House passed a rules package that makes such land seizure plans easier to execute.

Click here to call your representative! Tell them to vote AGAINST the new land takeover bill (H.R. 621)!

Fellow Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, seeming to nurse an eternal grudge against the very idea of public lands, concocted the latter provision for just this purpose. Right now, the Congressional Budget Office, which provides lawmakers with data so they can make budget decisions, officially considers public lands to have no monetary value, meaning that legislation like Chaffetz’s has an easier path to enactment.

“Trump’s allies in Washington laid the tracks for this land takeover scheme the moment they started their legislative session, and now they’re driving a locomotive over and through the American people and our wild natural heritage,” said Alan Rowsome, senior government relations director for The Wilderness Society, in a statement.

A study released in 2016 estimated that parks and programs managed by the National Park Service alone are worth about $92 billion. That doesn’t even account for the more than 560 national wildlife refuges, 150-some national forests and more than 200 sites in the Bureau of Land Management’s National Conservation Lands system. But to some members of Congress, none of that matters — Our Wild belongs on the clearance rack, and the sooner America liquidates it, the better.

Chaffetz’s land sell-off scheme based on unpopular idea

Chaffetz’s bill, which he previously introduced in a slightly different form, would sell lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming to reduce the federal deficit. A poll conducted just a few months after the first time he introduced the legislation in 2013 showed that 72 percent of voters in western states would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports selling public lands to reduce the budget deficit. Most voters in his own state said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who proposes the sale of federal lands, too.

The congressman couches his proposal in populist language about benefitting taxpayers, as have many other proponents of fringe land seizure efforts. But people in Utah and across the U.S. decisively reject the idea of selling off public lands: Polling from after the 2016 election showed that 78 percent of Americans oppose efforts to privatize or sell public lands, including 64 percent of people who voted for Trump.

Politicians are waging war on Our Wild — will you help defend it?

This is not Rep. Chaffetz’s first dalliance with extremist anti-conservation proposals that try to degrade public lands or tear them away from the American people. He has previously supported measures to eliminate presidents’ ability to protect land as national monuments, and to allow widespread motorized access to wilderness areas.

However, sadly, he is not alone. A cohort of lawmakers in Washington and at the state level are following the lead of the Bundy family and attacking the previously inviolable idea of Our Wild. We need to make sure our representatives remember that they work for US.

What you can do:

Click here to call your representative! Tell them to vote AGAINST the new land takeover bill (H.R. 621)!

Or dial them online at 202–224–3121 and tell them to vote AGAINST H.R. 621.

  • Tell your member of Congress you think public lands have tremendous value!
  • Tell your member of Congress where you are from, and about the public lands you cherish.
  • Challenge your member of Congress to demonstrate his or her support for our public lands by pledging to protect them from the Trump Administration and anti-conservation lawmakers.

Learn more about the campaign to protect Our Wild.

H.R.621 – To direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal, and for other purposes

Ignorance abounds in Kentucky concerning cannabis law


 

In October, farmworkers transported harvested marijuana plants at Los Suenos Farms, America’s largest legal open-air marijuana farm, in southern Colorado.

 

The following story was printed on Kentucky.com and my response is included.

By Thomas Vance

The world is watching Colorado and is finding out that everything we have been told by our government about marijuana has not been factual, to put it nicely.

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational in 2014. They have paid more than $150 million in taxes on $1.3 billion in sales for 2016 and have created more than 20,000 full-time jobs in the process and none of the predicted harms of legalization have materialized.

California has had an easy access medical marijuana program for 20 years and none of the terrible things we have been told will happen should cannabis be legal have happened.

All we have to do is copy Colorado’s regulations and standards and get on with it. What are we waiting for? The people in our eastern counties are praying for something to replace the coal industry. God has one ready to go for us and we are ignoring his help.

It’s like the old joke about the guy trapped on his roof in a flood. He prays for God to save him. A helicopter comes by and offers to pick the man up. “No, no, thanks anyway but God said he would save me.”

After a while a boat comes and offers to pick up the man. Again he says no because, “God will save me.”

Later on that night, the waters rose and the man drowned. When he gets up to Heaven He asks God, “Why, why God, didn’t you save me?” and God replies, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, why didn’t you get in?”

Let’s take this winning lottery ticket the good Lord has given us: an industry safer and healthier than coal. Alleviate the suffering of our eastern counties, create thousands of jobs, garner millions in revenue, enable billions in economic activity and put that money to work for the citizens of our great state.

It would seem that if we get to the end of this legislative session and nothing is done, one could reasonably conclude the Republican-controlled legislature is being derelict in its duty to improve the lives and the well being of our citizens and our state.

Thomas Vance of Alexandria is senior adviser for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access.

Sample of comments:

H.B. Elkins ·

Media Consultant at Kentucky Valley Media Consulting

Industrial hemp, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are three distinctly different and separate issues. Far too many times, advocates have appeared to champion the first two and then they show their true colors and advocate for the third. This puts a cloud of suspicion over the motives for supporting industrial hemp and medical marijuana.
You do your cause no favors by mentioning Colorado’s approval of recreational use if you are really advocating medical use. I suspect you are really for full legalization and are just using medical use as an incremental step.
Be honest about your motives. It won’t make me support recreational legalization — I don’t — but it will allow me to respect your efforts.

 

MY RESPONSE:

It is people like HB and JOHN below who are complicit in keeping the repeal of cannabis hemp laws out of KY. Unfortunately most of the politicians in KY have the same mindset.

It all boils down to who has the money now and who they don’t want to have any in the future.

Personally, I am not a legalizer, I am a repealer, meaning that I believe all Cannabis statutes from the Federal Government and UN should be abolished as they are illegal to begin with in my opinion. (Do your own research because I am tired) Legalization renders to regulation which renders to incarceration because, well, what can be more profitable than the prison industrial complex?

This plant has been useful for all of humanity’s existence and will continue to be,  regardless of whether it is legalized or not. (Again, do the research).. The sad part is all the people that could be helped (and one day it may be YOU) that will suffer and die needlessly because of evil people whose only concern in life is how much money they can scarf up from everyone else.

In the meantime, many peoples lives are being saved or at least made better by an illegal plant that God put here, by people who are risking there very lives to get this to those that need it – real patients.

Yes, there are those of us who enjoy smoking a good cannabis ‘cig’ – It helps relieve the mind of stress and pain. Sure is a lot better than the alcohol which most people consume on a daily basis and end up dying from in the long run…

So, I guess until everyone gets their heads on straight about Cannabis, everyone will continue to suffer from statutes, regulation, and imprisonment because people are either too stupid to educate themselves, or are too evil to care.

Which one are YOU???

sk

SOURCE AND LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON KENTUCKY.COM