The possibility of Tennessee medical marijuana legalization has been given new hope with a recent announcement from state lawmakers.
On Aug. 25, 2017, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and State House Speaker Beth Harwell penned a letter to the chief clerks in the Senate and House of Representatives announcing the creation of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis, as reported by WKRN.
According to the letter, “This committee is hereby authorized and directed to study, evaluate, analyze, and undertake a comprehensive review regarding whether the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes is in the best interest of the state.”
The 10-member committee is comprised of Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville; Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby; Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville; Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville; Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald; Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City; Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville; Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis; Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia; and Rep. Sam Whitson, R-Franklin.
Tennessee medical marijuana legalization had been given a chance this past March, but the issue was tabled due to lack of support in the Senate.
The State House Speaker has indicated that a personal situation has caused her to reconsider medical marijuana. Harwell’s sister, a resident of Colorado, broke her back in a yoga accident and was able to get off of opioids by transitioning to medical marijuana, as reported by U.S. News.
According to a poll by Tennesseans for Conservative Action, 52% of conservatives in the state support Tennessee medical marijuana legalization.