marijuana

MTSU Poll: Most Tennesseans support citizenship for ‘dreamers,’ limited marijuana legalization

Press release from Middle Tennessee State University

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Solid majorities of Tennessee voters express support for immigrants in the country illegally, especially the so-called “Dreamers” who were brought to the country as children, according to the latest MTSU Poll.

In other results that may raise eyebrows, a broad majority of Tennessee voters support at least limited marijuana legalization. Even 51 percent of self-identified evangelical Christians surveyed say they support legalization for medicinal use.

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Push for passage of medical marijuana bill abandoned for 4th consecutive year

Sponsors of the “Medical Cannabis Act” gave up their push for passage of the bill for 2018 on Tuesday, acknowledging there’s no enough support for legalizing use of marijuana derivatives in medications among colleagues in the General Assembly.

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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.

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Harwell breaks tie, advances medical marijuana bill

House Speaker Beth Harwell speaks at a gubernatorial forum in Nashville on Feb. 27, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell has stepped in to advance medical marijuana legislation in legislature. As House speaker the Nashville Republican has the power to vote in any of the chamber’s committees, and when the Civil Criminal Justice Subcommittee was deadlocked 3-3 on the bill, she cast the deciding vote keep the bill moving.

Harwell had earlier signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure dubbed the Medical Cannabis Only Act. The main sponsors are Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) and Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville).

“I am in favor of this legislation, which does not allow for the smoking of medical marijuana — I am not in favor of that approach,” Harwell said in a release announcing her co-sponsorship of the bill. “However, the federal government continues to be a roadblock for legitimate research or medical uses of medical cannabis, but other states have enacted laws to help patients, and Tennessee should do the same.”

Another co-sponsor is Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro), the chairman of the House Health Subcommittee.

“The inaction and hypocritical stance at the federal level puts many patients in a bind and hinders medical research and treatment. States need to stand up for patients,” said Terry, a physician.

Note: Voting with Harwell for the bill were  Reps. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) and Sherry Jones (D-Nashville). Voting no were Reps. Michael Curcio (R-Dickson), William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) and Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough).

 

Black, husband criticized for lobbying against medical marijuana bill

Medical marijuana legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison is hitting a hurdle with gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Diane Black opposing it and her husband trying to kill the measure, according to the Tennessee Ledger. Her husband says his actions are in the public interest and not for any financial gain by his company.

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Columnist in chemotherapy backs medical marijuana bill

Frank Cagle, currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, declares his support for legislation to legalize medical cannabis oil in his current News Sentinel column. It begins as follows:

If you lose 40 pounds and the sight and smell of food make you wretch, you are tempted to try most anything for relief. If you ask around, you can find cannabis oil here in Tennessee. But it has drawbacks.

— You don’t know where it came from.

— You don’t know what the dosage is.

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Medical marijuana advocate running for state House after 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook

David Michel of Telford, a leading advocate for legalization of medical marijuana in the Tri-Cities area, is running as an independent for the state House District 6 seat now held by Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Gray), according to the Johnson City Press.

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Legislators file revised medical marijuana bill

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) speaks on the House floor on Jan. 18., 2018 (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) speaks on the House floor on Jan. 18., 2018 (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Press release from Senate Republican Caucus

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) today introduced Medical Cannabis Only Act of 2018, legislation that would allow Tennessee patients with specific health conditions access to safe, regulated medical cannabis oil-based manufactured products only.
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TNDP backs ‘Medicare for all,’ $15 minimum wage and medical marijuana

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party

On Saturday, October 28, 2017, the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party passed three resolutions supporting progressive policies. First they weighed in on health care, voicing their support for ‘Medicare for All.’

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Medical marijuana task force hears cannabis critics

The first meeting of the legislature’s Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis ran about five hours with much of the lawmakers’ time spent listening to concerns that legalizing use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is a slippery slope, reports WPLN.

At the meeting, lawmakers were repeatedly told medicinal use of marijuana would lead to abuse. Experts spoke of supplies contaminated with other drugs, the difficulty of keeping legally purchased marijuana from being resold and stories of underage children dying after ingesting marijuana.

The testimony drew pushback from one of medical cannabis’s big supporters.

“You need to be fair,” said state Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby (the committee co-chair). “If we’re going to hold marijuana use for medical purpose to a standard, then compare it to what’s going on right now that’s legal and that’s encouraged by a lot of doctors.”

Faison argued that marijuana is less dangerous than many opioids and psychotropic drugs.

An excerpt from WTVF TV’s report:

The state Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, David Reagan, said he believes medical marijuana hasn’t been studied enough to legalize in Tennessee.

“We support doing additional research. The FDA, more the DEA from our perspective, has traditionally been, for 100 years, has been an organization that exemplifies getting us safe and effective medicines,” said Reagan. Until marijuana’s schedule one designation changes, Reagan said he doesn’t think it will be studied to the level it needs.

And House Speaker Beth Harwell, who appointed House members of the panel, continues to be asked about the subject as she campaigns for governor. From WJHL TV, reporting on her campaigning in the Tri-Cities last week:

“We’re not talking about recreational at all, I’m not for that. I’m not even for smoking marijuana, that causes cancer,” Harwell said. “I’m for oils and edibles and something that can help a lot of people who are suffering from chronic pain.”

The panel plans future meetings in the Knoxville and Memphis areas.