LOUISVILLE (WHAS) -- A proposal to balance Kentucky’s pension crisis with proceeds from pot sales has gained a lot of attention on social media. Thursday it was the focus of a hearing in Frankfort.
Governor Matt Bevin has said he's against recreational or "adult use" of marijuana but Senator Dan Seum, a powerful member of Governor Bevin's own party, thinks it's a way to bail Kentucky out of the pension crisis.
There's still a way to go before even medicinal marijuana could be approved in Kentucky so the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection listened to a panel of experts opposed to pot.
The Director of National Marijuana Initiative warned that scientists don't exactly know the strength or the health impacts of modern marijuana. He also claimed that arrests for driving under the influence of drugs connected to marijuana have increased 101% in Colorado since that state legalized recreational marijuana.
Kentucky's Commissioner of state police directed his final comment at Senator Seum suggesting pot as an answer to the pension crisis. “I must tell you, my 40 years of law enforcement tells me this is not the savior and my good friend Dan Seum, I know he's trying to save my pension and, thank you Dan for doing that but I'm not willing to risk the health of my children and grandchildren to save my pension”, said KSP Commander Richard Sanders.
Today's hearing was designed to start a conversation, not forward legislation.
During an interview with Senator Seum this week he told us he thinks this option should be on the table because he believes it could bring $100M into state coffers and there's a suggestion Kentucky will need an additional billion dollars of revenue each year to solve the retirement systems shortfall.