FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) -- A bill that would legalize and regulate medical marijuana in Kentucky passed its first hurdle Wednesday.
The House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 136 with a vote of 17 to one.
The passage followed a debate in a crowded committee room in Frankfort.
Among those most pleased by the advancing of the bill, is Eric Crawford, of Mason County.
A 1994 car accident left Crawford in a wheelchair with life-changing health conditions and he says marijuana allows him to get out of bed.
He told lawmakers during the debate he’s tired of feeling like a criminal.
The bill has 51 co-sponsors.
If passed, it would establish restrictions on who can have medical marijuana, and determine where it can be used.
Legal documents for the bill total 160 pages and there are numerous rules and restrictions. For example: you could not smoke medicinal marijuana.
Despite its overwhelming support, there were concerns raised in committee.
“The family foundation believes there is medicine in the marijuana plant, in the Cannabis plant," said Kent Ostrander with The Family Foundation. "We just want to make sure that the good in the plant can be extracted and the bad removed.”
The bill now moves on to the full House, where unlike last year, sponsors believe it will be called for a vote and pass.