By Associated Press
(AP) — Diagnosed with cancer seven years ago, Kentucky Republican state Sen. Dan Seum said doctors gave him a “nice bottle of Oxycontin,” a legal opioid-based prescription painkiller that has led to a spike in overdose deaths throughout the state.
“I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoked a joint,” the 77-year-old lawmaker said. “And guess what? No nausea. I was able to function. I was going through the (chemo) treatment. It was during the legislative session, I did not miss a day due to nausea from the cancer.”
Seum was one of a bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers who introduced a bill this week that would make marijuana legal in Kentucky for medical purposes only.
Seum said he would provide studies on the medical benefits of marijuana to Republican Senate leaders, adding he felt no unease about admitting publicly to smoking marijuana. He also outed one of his 24 grandchildren, saying she “partakes” of marijuana to treat her epilepsy.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if my granddaughter was no longer a criminal,” he said.
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley