Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee hosts first town hall meeting

Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee hosts first town hall meeting
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:02 PM CDT
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - The Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee’s goal is to gather and then present information about legalizing medical cannabis to Governor Andy Beshear, providing expertise on the issue to the administration.

As the town hall meetings kick off on Wednesday evening, 14 News spoke with one medical cannabis advocate, Deb DeSpain, who’s a thyroid cancer survivor, and a registered nurse.

DeSpain is also a member of the American Cannabis Nursing Association.

She says marijuana and cannabinoids have helped her feel better overall.

“After I developed cancer, they removed my thyroid, they treated me with radioactive Iodine,” says DeSpain, “and then I’ve never been able to tolerate the medicine.”

DeSpain says she’s taken many different prescriptions and narcotics to deal with the pain and recovery from her various health issues, but that cannabis and cannabinoids have helped her ditch many of the pills.

“So I tried, tried it, and it made me feel better in so many ways,” says DeSpain.

Advocate Grace Henderson has been fighting for medical marijuana legalization for years.

Henderson says she’s glad Governor Beshear and his team are making headway in getting public opinion, but for people like her and DeSpain, they can’t wait until things are legalized.

“Saying that we need to stop and put more research into whether or not this can help people, when we know it can help people, still keeps it from helping the people that need it most,” says Henderson.

Henderson and DeSpain each believe there are countless others out there just like them, living in what they call the “cannabis closet,” but they believe if those people were to reach out and just be honest, advocating alongside them, medical marijuana usage could be legalized quickly and efficiently.

“You don’t have to have cancer to wear a pink ribbon, and you don’t have to use cannabis in order to support it for me,” says Henderson.

Henderson and DeSpain hope that someday soon, they won’t be considered criminals for giving themselves what they say is just medicine.

“I am a criminal. Do I feel like I’m a criminal? Do I feel like I should be? Absolutely not,” says DeSpain.

For information about the committee and the meetings, click here.

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