The latest Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll showed a majority of Kentucky’s registered voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal consumption, as well as the return of industrial hemp in the state.
Participants were also asked about their opinion on recreational marijuana use, but only 39 percent favor decriminalizing the possession and non-medical use of pot (even in limited amounts) for Kentuckians aged 21 and older.
When asked if they support or oppose legalizing the production of industrial hemp in the state, 65 percent of the voters said they would back the idea of hemp farming, while only 22 percent have expressed disapproval over the revival of industrial hemp production in the Bluegrass State.
On Feb. 11, the Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee voted unanimously in favor of Kentucky Senate Bill 50, which would allow Kentucky farmers to grow hemp for a variety of products. Supporters of the bill say it could potentially create thousands of hemp-related jobs, but Gov. Steve Beshear and the police authorities are concerned about its impact to marijuana enforcement efforts, Courier-Journal reports.
“We really don’t know anything about whether there’s going to be a market for it yet,” Beshear said. ” … The other concern is law enforcement. … We’ve got a big drug problem in Kentucky, and I just want to make sure we don’t do anything that will make that problem any worse.”
Industrial hemp has been useful in the manufacturing of a variety of products, such as paper, construction materials, carpeting, and clothing. However, its relationship to marijuana was one of the factors that led to the demise of its use in commercial production in the country.