Supporters of medical marijuana in Tennessee say a change in popular attitudes about pot may help them pass a bill decriminalizing the drug.
Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) has already introduced a detailed, 29-page bill that would create a regulatory program called “Safe Access” in Tennesssee. Patients holding a certified “Safe Access” card would be allowed to purchase marijuana for certain medical conditions, including glaucoma, AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis and cancer.
Medical marijuana bills aren’t new to the General Assembly. Supporters have been introducing them for years, but they consistently fall well short of the amount of support they need for passage. In fact, no one even introduced a medical marijuana bill last year.
But Jones and other proponents of medical pot think Americans are changing their views about marijuana. Twenty other states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that allow the purchase of marijuana in some form.
So far, the bill doesn’t have any GOP support from either of the Republican-controlled houses in Nashville. But Jones thinks that may change. “Some of the conservatives up here believe that it’s not fair to keep these sort of remedies from people who need them,” Jones tells the Tennessean. “That makes me very hopeful for the legislation.”