I firmly support the First Amendment right to assemble and peacefully protest. Yet, violence and destruction of government and private property is unlawful and harms our city. Public safety is a vital necessity for every community.
In this moment of social protest, critical questions are being raised about certain law enforcement practices. I am committed to listen and support effective policing that better serves all Louisville residents fairly. I wish the recently appointed Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) interim chief Yvette Gentry well in her new position. She appears to be an excellent choice to start dialogue and bridge community differences.
Gun safety must be included when addressing public safety concerns. In 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms for traditional lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home. Regardless of opinion, the Heller decision is law. On the other hand, due to an epidemic of gun violence in our society, reasonable gun safety protection are now necessary. Many Kentuckians support universal background checks, a ban on military assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and red flag gun laws. No one should have to be afraid to go to school, the mall or a place of worship. Let’s return to commonsense gun ownership.
Voter participation is the cornerstone of our democracy. Let’s make voting easier, not more diﬃcult. With a health pandemic, I advocate mail-in voting and early in person voting for our 2020 primary and general elections. Voters should not have to choose between their health and exercising a civic duty. This opportunity will further strengthen voter turnout, notoriously low in the state, and contribute to a more robust Kentucky voter participation rate. I also propose changing the federal Motor Voter Law to automatically register Kentucky residents to vote.
Decriminalize small possession of recreational marijuana in the amount of 1-3 ounces, eliminate jail sentencing, and maintain a civil fine only. Current law classifies marijuana possession of 8 ounces or less as a Class B misdemeanor, subject to incarceration. A civil fine only prevents overcrowding of jails for minor, non-violent, drug offenses. In some cases, addiction treatment may be the best alternative.
Medicinal marijuana is legal in 33 states. Cannabis does not need to be smoked to be medically beneﬁcial; other non-smoking applications are available. I support legalization of medical marijuana backed by strong scientific evidence to treat certain conditions, such as nausea and severe forms of epilepsy. Understanding best practices from the experiences of other states and working with stakeholders is the best way to develop this policy and implement such change.
In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on single game wagering. Now, each state can set its own rules for sports betting whether online or site-based with legislation. Sports betting is another way to capture a revenue stream for our state budget, meets consumer demand and creates jobs.