Marijuana use has become increasingly common throughout the United States, as more and more states have followed the example of Colorado and California – making the drug legal for either medicinal or recreational use.
However, not every state has such clear cut laws surrounding the use of marijuana, meaning that it always pays to double check before committing to this lifestyle choice. One such state is Kentucky, which has its own rules and regulations surrounding the drug.
But what exactly does the law say, and is marijuana legal in the state of Kentucky?
Is Marijuana Legal In Kentucky?
When it comes to the state of Kentucky, the laws are somewhat more restrictive than western states like California and Colorado – with laws stating that residents can legally purchase, cultivate, and possess marijuana for medicinal purposes only.
This means that in the state of Kentucky, marijuana for recreational use is still illegal, and there are certain forms of medical suitability and proof that users will require to qualify them or the drug on prescription – as well as to protect them from potential legal ramifications.
Who Can Access Medical Marijuana?
As we mentioned previously, the state of Kentucky allows for those with serious medical conditions to access marijuana as a medicine – using its noted benefits towards inflammation and pain relief as a case for its legality in this sense.
This requires those eligible to purchase marijuana if they have a medical marijuana card, which they can then use to purchase the drug in registered outlets.
However, there are certain criteria that patients must meet to be eligible for this drug as a prescription medicine.
There are numerous serious and chronic, persistent conditions that can make someone eligible for medical marijuana.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Neurological diseases and conditions (including epilepsy)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Cachexia (wasting disease)
- Severe or persistent nausea and vomiting
- Terminal illnesses
- Conditions that cause severe muscle spasms
- Conditions for which opiates could be prescribed
This means that numerous patients throughout the state can have access to the drug for their own personal use, and as throughout the United States, it has proven to be an effective and preferable source of pain relief and relaxation – especially when placed against harder prescription medications and opiates, all of which can come with the risk of addiction and further symptoms.
How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Possess?
As of January 2023, Kentuckians are legally allowed to possess up to 8 ounces of medical marijuana to help with their respective conditions and illnesses.
How To Get A Marijuana Card In Kentucky
As mentioned above, those who want to purchase medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky need to have their own medical marijuana card, which will allow them to legally purchase and consume marijuana in the state.
However, to be eligible for this you need to have one of the above mentioned medical conditions, as well as the following pieces of documentation:
- The application form
- A written certification from a physician
- Photocopy of Kentucky driver’s license
- The nonrefundable application fee
How Do You Get Approved?
Those with the appropriate illnesses, as well as the above pieces of identification and qualifying materials, will then be called for an evaluation appointment.
They will then discuss your medical conditions, your medical history, and how you have responded to your existing medication. They will then discuss their proposed treatment plan, and supply you with written recommendations for the treatment.
Once you have all of the above things in place, you can then submit your application, pay the fee, and await your medical marijuana card.
Kentucky, Marijuana, And Recreational Use
As we have mentioned, it is still illegal to consume or possess marijuana for recreational use within the state of Kentucky – as well as being illegal for those that are eligible but do not have the proper paperwork.
Recreational Possession Punishments
Those found in possession of marijuana without proper identification, or indeed without any of the relevant medical conditions, will receive specific punishments – all of which are based on the amount of marijuana they are in possession of, their intent, and their existing criminal records.
Those possessing up to 8 ounces for recreational, personal use will be charged with a misdemeanor offense – something that could cause them to receive up to 45 days in jail, as well as having to pay a $250 dollar fine.
Those who are caught in possession of larger amounts will be classed as federal offenders, and will be charged with felony sale or trafficking – resulting in longer jail sentences and heftier fines.
Trafficking & Selling Punishments
For those in possession of 8 ounces or less, this will still be classed as a misdemeanor – but it will require a $500 dollar fine, and up to a year in jail.
Depending on the weight, the punishment will then increase with the amounts the individual possesses. If the weight is between 8 ounces and 5 pounds, then the punishment can be between 1 year in jail, and 5 years in prison – alongside a hefty $10,000 dollar fine to boot.
If the weight is greater, then even first time offenders could find themselves spending up to 10 years in prison for the crime.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about marijuana, and the legality of the drug in the state of Kentucky.
It is true that marijuana really has taken the United States by storm, with many states legalizing it in one form or another as the years progress – something that would have seemed inconceivable only a decade ago.
But if you are unsure about the legality of marijuana use in your home state, then be sure to double check online! After all, it’s much better to be safe than sorry!
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