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.
Under the Heller decision, 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, Heller is law. Yet, due to gun violence in our society, reasonable gun safety protections are now necessary. Real, meaningful change will probably have to come from the federal government, i.e. ban on military assault style weapons, high capacity magazines. In KY, we can fight for red flag laws and closing gun show loopholes. No one should have to be afraid to go to school, to the mall, or a place of worship. Let’s return to common sense on responsible gun ownership.