A bill to legalize medical cannabis or marijuana in Tennessee came to a sudden halt last week, but future support still likely depends on changes in Washington.
Medical cannabis seems to find new supporters every year on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill, but other roadblocks remain in the way of legislation.
When a bill allowing an oil-based form of medical cannabis in Tennessee was rolled last week in a House sub-committee until 2020, Senate sponsor Janice Bowling–herself a recent convert–was outspoken in her blame of law enforcement.
She pointed her finger directly at testimony earlier this month by TBI Director David Rausch who called it “an attack on safety.”
“I have talked to my peers throughout the country–all 33-states that have approved this and they all say they wish they could put this genie back in the bottle,” Director Rausch told News 2 on April 3rd after he had testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“We felt that a few of the votes that had been leading our way were feeling compromised by their law enforcement, so we had to roll the bill,” Sen. Bowling said in the hours after the measure was withdrawn last week.
Along with the TBI Director, Lt. Governor Randy McNally said marijuana, which is currently considered a Schedule I drug, needs to be removed from the federal list of dangerous, illegal drugs before ‘no’ votes on medical cannabis can become ‘yes’ ones.
In the meantime, a lot of Tennesseans plead with their lawmakers about medical cannabis benefits, but they know the current governor and his predecessor have been against it.