Kentucky GOP lawmaker, pushing for marijuana legalization, says he smoked a joint while battling cancer instead of taking OxyContin

A Republican Kentucky state lawmaker told reporters on Wednesday that he smoked marijuana instead of taking the prescription opiate, OxyContin, when he was battling cancer several years ago.

State Sen. Dan Seum, who has filed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, made the comment while speaking in support of a state House bill to legalize medical marijuana. He survived a bout with colon cancer seven years ago, according to Kentucky’s WKYT.

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"They gave me that nice bottle of OxyContin. I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoked a joint," he said Wednesday. 

Seum, according to the outlet, said he wasn't afraid to acknowledge that he broke the law by smoking marijuana, instead hoping to use his experience to advocate for the substance's medical benefits.

"You know when I was a young man, if you could get a hold of Columbia Gold [a strain of marijuana], you really had something, and nobody has died from it that I know of," he added. "Sometimes there is this little thing called unjust law, and that's what we've got when we put this thing as a Schedule I."

Lawmakers in the Kentucky state House are filing the Republican-led medical marijuana bill on Wednesday, which aims to make medical marijuana available for Kentuckians with "debilitating illnesses and excruciating pain." It is unclear if the bill has enough support to pass either the state House or the Senate.

Seum’s bill in the Senate calls for legalization of recreational marijuana for Kentuckians age 21 and older.