Medical marijuana bill watered down, still stalled

The House sponsor of a bill to allow Tennesseans’ use of medical cannabis performed major surgery on the legislation in a committee Wednesday, discarding a number of controversial provisions in an effort to soften opposition. But the Times Free Press reports there was still opposition even after the bill’s scope was substantially reduced and a vote was put off for another week.

“What I’m trying to do is decriminalize it if you have one of the 15 qualifying [medical] conditions,” Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, told House Criminal Justice Committee members.

The four-page amendment, approved by the panel, creates an exception in existing law to allow residents suffering from diseases or conditions ranging from cancer to chronic pain to be immune from arrest and prosecution provided they have proof of a legal order or recommendation by a doctor in a note saying the patient is likely to benefit.

It was a fallback from the original 72-page bill that created a program in which eligible patients would have had an electronic registration card from state authorities. It also required doctors who wished to participate to have a state-issued license.

… But the bill continued to be fiercely debated as Dr. Michael Warren, the state Health Department’s deputy commissioner for population health, and Chief Medical Officer David Ragan questioned many proponents’ claims regarding marijuana’s positive effect on many medical conditions.

Warren said the “current state of the medical evidence does not support the broad categories that are in the bill.”

Committee members ran out of their allotted time and delayed the measure until next week.

“They’re stuck in reefer madness and they’re split in their mind,” Faison said of opponents. “They know this has got to happen and they don’t want it to happen they’re hiding behind the federal government right now, because they don’t want to do the right thing for sick Tennesseans.”

4 Responses to Medical marijuana bill watered down, still stalled

  • James White says:

    Claims aren’t facts. Kill the Bill.

  • Diana Page says:

    I am thankful that I do not suffer from the conditions, such as epilepsy or ptsd or chronic pain that can potentially be addressed by medical marijauna. I believe that addiction issues may also be addressed. All of these conditions and the impact of marijuana are united by the involvement of the nervous system, thereby making it feasible that there will be an impact of medical marijauna. Does the bill include a research element? Certainly, the feds have interfered with research on this potentially healing drug. Their intransigence on this is something to question/challenge. In the meantime, I think it makes sense to go forward with provision of relief to Tennesseans. The bill has been carefully crafted to avoid the pitfalls that other states have experienced.

  • Susan E Gingrich says:

    The federal government has been funding quite a bit of research on cannabis. There is also independent credible research. Research is finding promising alternatives to medical marijuana for treating addiction. After following the issue and research closely for several years, I believe the negative consequences from smoking marijuana to individuals” health and its cost to society outweigh the positives. There may be forms of cannabis with safer delivery methods which may prove to be effective, but smoking it and snorting oil, as some are doing, will never be safe.

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    Folks WAKE UP these drugs of any form are being turned back by LOBBYIST,BIG MONEY,CROOKS and any other word that you can use for these people, they are not wanting to legalize drugs. Folks these mention people are getting rich, people are getting killed, and the ones that can do something about this I’m pretty sure they are turning their heads and taking kick backs. You people have got to get out your denial. People this is why the mayors and governor want enforce the curfews,drugs are transported and sold all night long. Drain the hill and this will stop.

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