To the editor:

Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty seems to have forgotten the “small-government” goals instilled in her party; while at the same time, ignored the positive, potential outcomes of House Bill 136 (legislation to legalize medical use of marijuana in Kentucky) when she publicly opposed it.

The Messenger reported that Prunty would rather marijuana be dealt with at the federal level. As a Republican, this seems to be a hypocritical position, and one that goes against her party’s desire for smaller government and more localized power.

House Bill 136 is a bipartisan effort that is long overdue. Just as Kentucky is typically behind, as a state, in taking the right action — Rep. Prunty’s opposition to HB136 is a key example of rural communities falling behind their urban counterparts of the same state. The provisions of HB136 are so extensive that no moral objection (such as fears of drug addiction, problems, etc.) could reasonably be sustained.

The benefits that this bill would provide — especially to many of the representative’s constituents — are substantial enough reason for support of the bill. Prunty should undeniably see the benefits of this legislation, considering her career in physical therapy. There is also reason to question Prunty’s concern for her constituents (particularly, the lack such) considering she opposes a bill that would greatly benefit the same people that put her in Frankfort.

As party bases, local ideologies, populations and demographics change, Prunty should be inclined to reevaluate her values and positions to ensure she is capable of representing her constituents and their needs. If the representative is no longer able to represent the needs and desires of those she represents, perhaps Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties would be better served with somebody in Frankfort that works for them, not against.

In reality, the same type of rural communities Prunty represents, are the same communities that have the greatest impact from the opioid crisis — a crisis that can be addressed, in part, by legalizing medicinal use of marijuana. Kentuckians should not continue to suffer and be behind the times of issues that directly impact their lives, and Prunty should not act in ways that continue to hold Kentuckians back.

Brandon Cooper

Director — Freedom Forward Inc.

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