hc fiscal3 300HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (11/29/17) — A Hopkins County magistrate spoke out about the need for legalization of medical cannabis in Kentucky at a fiscal court meeting held Tuesday.

District 1 Magistrate Karol Welch explained that her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 in addition to Dystonia — an adverse reaction to medication prescribed for Parkinson’s.

She believes there is an immediate need in Kentucky to allow the “truly ill” to legally use cannabis as a treatment option.

“There are over 12,000 people living in Kentucky with this disease,” she said, adding no one has ever died from using cannabis compared to those who have died from using FDA approved drugs.

She also pointed out states that allow legal medical cannabis have a 64 percent lower opioid use in patients with chronic pain. Welch showed a YouTube video of a man completely cured of his tremors as a result of Parkinson’s after receiving the medical cannabis treatment.

“My husband is a sick man who needs legal medical cannabis for a better quality of life,” Welch said. “There needs to be a common sense, compassionate reform of the law in Kentucky to help the genuinely sick, diseased and disabled citizens of the Bluegrass state … we need your help and voice.”

Currently, 29 states and Washington, D.C. allow people with illnesses to use cannabis for medical treatment.

Magistrate Jack Whitfield said his twin sister suffers with multiple sclerosis. He believes a local resolution wouldn’t be much help to change state law, but if legalized, medical cannabis could offer improved treatment options for chronic illnesses.

In other business, the county approved Sheriff Matt Sanderson’s request regarding the unmined coal tax settlement.

The court also approved a request from Jailer Mike Lewis to purchase a body scanner for $118,750 to use at the county jail. It will be purchased with commissary funds. In lieu of keeping the jail contract with Mountain Comprehensive Care as its substance abuse program, the two workers will become county employees instead, and the program will be administered by the jail.

Emergency Management Agency Frank Wright announced his office attended weather training in Grand Rivers, saying winter weather is predicted to be similar to last year, with little snow. He also noted repair work is being made to emergency communications towers.

Community Development Director Mike Duncan announced archery season has begun at the West Kentucky Archery Complex off Grapevine Road. There will be a Pro-Am Tournament sponsored by the Tourism Commission this weekend that starts noon Saturday and continues through Sunday. Admission is free to watch tournament action. From January-April, high school and college tournaments will be held each weekend.

Judge-Executive Donnie Carroll recognized the American Red Cross of Western Kentucky for 100 years of local service, declaring 2017 as the organization’s century milestone.

The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled Dec. 19.

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

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