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Beshear: Ready to explore action on medical marijuana issue

The Democratic governor's comments reflected his growing frustration as the latest measure to legalize medical cannabis is currently stalled in the Senate.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear signaled Thursday that he's ready to consider taking executive action to make medical marijuana available for ailing Kentuckians if a legalization bill dies in the legislature.

The Democratic governor's comments reflected his growing frustration as the latest measure to legalize medical cannabis is currently stalled in the Republican-dominated state Senate.

Asked if he could wield his executive authority to make medical marijuana accessible, the governor told reporters: “We’re going to explore that.”

“It’s something that we will look at," he said. "Its time has certainly come.”

But the governor called on lawmakers to send him a bill allowing medical marijuana. The high-profile measure cleared the House last month but has made no headway in the Senate.

Beshear said the measure has overwhelming support among Kentuckians.

“You see people from every part of every spectrum that are in favor of this,” Beshear said.

Senate President Robert Stivers said Thursday that “it would be difficult” to pass the medical marijuana bill once lawmakers reconvene next week for the final two days of this year's session.

Instead, Stivers touted another bill that would create a cannabis research center at the University of Kentucky to study the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions.

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