Car horns could be heard inside council chambers Monday at Elizabethtown City Hall, as supporters of medical cannabis rallied outside the building.
Julie Cantwell of Rineyville, who spoke with Hardin Fiscal Court on the matter last month, said supporters were told they were not allowed to speak about cannabis or ask for a resolution at Monday’s council meeting. But, that didn’t deter them from showing up wearing green shirts and holding signs.
“A lot of us have asked to speak and have been told we can’t,” Cantwell said. “We’re standing out here to raise awareness. If they won’t let us speak, then we are going to use our voices, use our signs and our shirts to make a statement.”
Three weeks ago, Michael and Michelle Krueger of Elizabethtown asked city council members to send a resolution in support of House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 118, which pertain to legalizing medical cannabis in Kentucky, to the General Assembly.
At a Feb. 26 meeting, council members said they could, individually, if they wanted to, contact representatives, and recommended other groups the Kruegers could contact to champion their cause.
Mary Chaudoin, city clerk, said according to the open meetings act, it does not guarantee a person attending the meeting has the right to address the public entity during the course of the meeting.
City Attorney D. Dee Shaw said the group had called ahead and requested to speak at council about cannabis; however, because the matter already had been presented to the council and the council’s decision was final about what was requested, it was council’s choice not to allow them to speak.
Cantwell said the group wants Hardin County and Elizabethtown to support its cause.
“There have been many cities and many counties pass resolutions and Elizabethtown won’t do it. We just want them to support us,” she said.
But even if the bills do not pass this year, Cantwell said she will continue the crusade.
“We’ll just keep trying,” she said. “If we don’t get it this year, we’ll come back next year and the next year.”
Cantwell said from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Tacky Palette, 109 N. Mulberry in Elizabethtown, the group is hosting a Hardin County Cannabis Reform meeting, where members will share ideas on how to educate and end the “marijuana stigma.”
“We want to educate people. We want people to not be afraid of cannabis,” she said. “This isn’t something to be afraid of. This is a great thing.”