Perryville approves resolution supporting medical cannabis 3-2

Published 4:54 pm Saturday, March 3, 2018

Resolution against pipeline passes

The Perryville City Council approved a resolution supporting medical cannabis legalization in a 3-2 vote Thursday night.

Council member Julie Clay made the motion, seconded by Council member Steve Bailey. Council member Jerry Houck cast the third vote in favor, while council members Brian Caldwell and Paul Webb voted against; council member JoAnne Reynolds was absent.

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Tim Simpson, a Perryville resident and former council member, presented the resolution request to the council. Simpson said he’s working with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Medical Marijuana Task Force.

Simpson said he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about 10 years ago, but hasn’t shared it publicly until more recently. His mother has the same disease, along with lupus.

“She takes about 15 pills. I’m not going to do that,” he said. “I’ve been treating myself … I can sleep at night.”

Simpson said he has been using cannabis oil to help with the symptoms from MS, including spasms and deteriorations of muscles and tendons. Cannabis oil derived from hemp is legal in Kentucky, which contains no THC, while cannabis oil with THC is not legal in Kentucky.

“I would wake up screaming at night,” Simpson said. “You feel like it’s electricity going through you. Other people should be able to (use medical marijuana) too, without breaking the law.”

Simpson said Maysville City Commission, Bullitt County Fiscal Court, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council and the Louisville-Metro Council are some of the agencies that have passed resolutions of support, too. The resolution states support for House Bill 166, which would legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky.

Simpson and a group of supporters failed to convince the Boyle County Fiscal Court to vote in favor of the resolution on Tuesday.

The support of Louisville-Metro helped House Bill 166 gain support; it is to be brought before committee in Frankfort on Wednesday, Simpson said.

He said he is part of several groups trying to generate support for the bill, including Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana.

Others spoke in support of legalizing medical marijuana as well, sharing their personal stories with diseases like multiple sclerosis and cancer, urging the council to approve the resolution.

“I think enough of us have known people with cancer, that we think it would be very beneficial to them,” council member Clay said.

Mayor Anne Sleet asked the council if they want to approve the resolution or wait until after the bill moved forward at the state level.

Bailey said, “Waiting would be no benefit,” because the support from cities and counties now to move it forward is what’s needed.

After Clay made the motion approving the resolution, there was a 15-second pause and it appeared the motion might die for lack of second. But Bailey then seconded the motion.

Caldwell said he was “all for medical marijuana,” but he was concerned about people who might abuse the system. That’s the reason for his “no” vote, he said.

“I’ve seen what drugs can do to families,” he said.

Kendra Peek/
Tom Ellis talks about the Kinder Morgan pipeline during Thursday’s Perryville City Council meeting.

Resolution against pipeline 

The council also formally adopted a resolution opposing a plan from Kinder Morgan to repurpose a natural gas pipeline. The action came following a presentation from Tom Ellis, a Boyle County resident who is opposed to the plan.

“This is one of the most volatile products on the planet,” Ellis said of natural gas liquids, the product Kinder Morgan has proposed using the pipeline to transport.

Ellis said the age of the existing natural gas pipeline, the rockiness of the soil around the pipeline and the depth the pipeline is buried at all make it dangerous to repurpose the pipeline for heavier, toxic and more explosive NGLs.

“I’m so frustrated with the feds,” Ellis said, when asked how the federal government was “OK” with the project.

“If ever there were a spill, it could spew 900,000 gallons of toxic NGLs to the creeks, to the rivers, to the farmland, and it would kill Herrington Lake for generations to come,” Ellis said. “We have to get the public rising above this.”

Clay said, “I’m OK with being an impediment to (the project).”

In other business

The council also approved purchasing $44,711 in equipment for the Perryville Fire Department, using $21,211 of city funds, $20,300 in Homeland Security grant funds and $3,200 in state aid funding from the Kentucky Fire Commission.