March 17, 2010

Medical Marijuana in Tennessee Gets A Boost Today

March 17, 2010
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Medical marijuana in Tennessee got a boost today. The House Government Operations Committee reviewed legislation that would legalize marijuana for medicinal uses (see links below). The Committee essentially has three options when they review it; give a ‘negative’ rating and essentially kill the bill, give a ‘neutral’ rating to move the bill forward but without a full endorsement, or a ‘positive’ rating that would be seen as an endorsement. The House Government Operations Committee gave the legislation a ‘neutral’ rating. Although the victory is ‘luke-warm,’ it is a victory nonetheless.

Although Republicans tried to fight hard for a negative rating, Nashville Democrat Gary Odom successfully lobbied to prevent such action. The House Bill’s sponsor, Jeanne Richardson of Memphis, stated “It is a compassionate bill, it is a fair bill. We structured it very tightly so that there won’t be the abuses that have occurred in states like California. I believe those political figures who do not understand that there is such an overwhelming support for medical cannabis are not in touch at all with what the public thinks, and I believe they need to rethink their position.” The next step is having the bills reviewed by the joint Public Health Subcommittee, which is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 24.

Senate Bill:
http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB2511

House Bill:
http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB2562

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