FRANKFORT – Hoping to end the prohibition against hemp and cannabis, a group traveling the United States will rally today at the Capitol as part of their
"Pot Heard Around the World" campaign.
A nationwide campaign to raise awareness and educate Americans about the numerous uses for hemp and cannabis, the "End Of Prohibition Capitol Tour" started bringing local pro-hemp and cannabis organizations together in the beginning of June at capitols across the country.
From Georgia, Kentucky to Kansas the tour members are working to propel cannabis and hemp legislation forward in 10 state capital cities in a 17-day Southeast U.S. tour.
Working with doctors, patients, politicians and business owners the goal is the establishment of a responsible, safe industry.
A news conference will take place in the Capitol Rotunda from 3-4 p.m. today with a rally to follow from 4-5:30 p.m.
This isn’t a typical pep rally for pot, but campaign member, COO and co-founder for the campaign Nashville Rizzi said the campaign helps educate people about the rules and regulations of opening businesses where cannabis and hemp is legal.
"We do a lot of bringing different local organizations together that may be working toward the same goals," Rizzi said.
"Some people support medical marijuana or hemp legislation. We raise awareness, provide a place to introduce those groups to each other and strengthen support in the area."
Jaime Montalvo, president of the nonprofit Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana, isn’t a stranger to legislators at the Capitol as he has lobbied for medical marijuana legislation in Kentucky for several years.
He will attend the event today with three other patients.
After going through a gauntlet of steroids, muscle relaxers, chemotherapy, interferon injections and opiates to manage his multiple sclerosis, Montalvo found using marijuana less debilitating than the side effects of his prescription medications.
Montalvo advocated during the 2015 legislative session for the Cannabis Compassion Act which would have made Kentucky the 24th state in the U.S. with Washington D.C. to legalize medicinal marijuana.
When asked why he is an advocate and why is he going to the rally, Montalvo said it is for others who can’t.
"We do this for those patients who are far too sick to travel across the state, those who fear the stigma, or those who fear being labeled a criminal for doing what they have to do for a better quality of life," Montalvo said.
"We’ve seen far too much pain and suffering to walk away from this fight and allow our legislators to do nothing. We know the relief it can provide to the sick and disabled patients of Kentucky."