A new poll shows 78 percent of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana, while others would be fine with widespread legalization.
The Kentucky Health Issues Poll has conducted polling on a wide array of issues for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky over the past few months, from a statewide smoking ban to health insurance coverage.
Its latest poll shows overwhelming support for medical marijuana in Kentucky. It also shows roughly one in four Kentuckians would be okay with legalizing pot even for recreational use.
Only 38 percent oppose legalizing marijuana for any reason at all.
Foundation CEO Susan Zepeda was surprised by the results. She says marijuana still poses some health risks, even if it's used for medical purposes.
After months of deliberations, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has decided to expand Medicaid in Kentucky under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare—a move that's won praise from Democrats and health advocacy groups.
Beshear said Thursday that expansion benefits Kentucky in many ways.
"This move makes sense not only for our health but also for our pocketbook. More important it makes sense for our future," he says.
The expansion will insure more than 308,000 Kentuckians. And according to studies done by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville, Medicaid expansion would bring about $800 million to Kentucky between next year and 2021.
Beshear says critics of the expansion are more worried about politics than good policy.
"They express vague and broad anxieties about costs, fears which the facts refute and they fall back on partisan national politics. If Kentucky expands Medicaid they ask, won't Kentucky be supporting Obamacare, they ask. Well to them I say, Get over it," he says.
Two of Kentucky's elected leaders are joining their peers in asking a national clothing retailer to stop selling questionable pint and shot glasses.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset are asking retailer Urban Outfitters to stop selling an array of pint glasses, shot glasses and flasks that are made to look like prescription pill bottles.
The two men have consistently fought for laws to reduce Kentucky's prescription pill epidemic on both the state and federal levels.
In a news release, Conway said the fact that the retailer, which is known for selling ", is encouraging the mixture of alcohol and pills by their branding is even more disturbing.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is set to announce whether or not he’ll expand Kentucky’s Medicaid program.
The Governor’s office says Beshear will share his decision Thursday at a 1:30 p.m. eastern time news conference at the state capitol building.
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, each state has the option of expanding its Medicaid services to those earning less than 133 percent of the poverty rate. The federal government has agreed to pay each state’s additional costs related to expansion for the first three years, with Washington picking up 90 percent of the tab each following year.
Some conservatives and Tea Party activists have called on Beshear not to agree to the expansion, saying the commonwealth can’t afford any additional costs.
Supporters say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to extend the program to a wider number of Kentuckians who are struggling with high health care costs.