In Conversation

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Marijuana is still illegal in many states, but signs are pointing to broader acceptance of the illicit drug in Kentucky.

 In June, Louisville’s Metro Council voted to decriminalize marijuana through an ordinance asking police not to cite adults with small amounts of the drug. The Louisville Metro Police Department said that wouldn’t change much, but last week Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell doubled down by announcing he would stop prosecuting some marijuana cases

“My focus as Jefferson County Attorney is not the tired old line of tough on crime. My focus is to help stop crime and to help prevent crime,” he said at a press conference announcing his changes.

State lawmakers are also pushing for medical marijuana in the state, and sales of hemp, a crop closely related to cannabis, have boomed since it was legalized last year.

But Kentucky would face different challenges when it comes to legalizing marijuana. And enforcement of the current law still shows racial disparities that would have to be overcome;  black drivers are much more likely to be cited for possession in Louisville than their white counterparts according to a Courier Journal analysis.

This week In Conversation, we talk about recreational marijuana and how other states have adjusted to its legalization.

Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL’s “In Conversation” with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk — both to each other, and with the larger community — about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Call 502-814-TALK to join the conversation.

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