Will Tennessee Ever Allow The Use Of Medical Marijuana?
After a medical marijuana bill dies in the Legislature, Tennessee residents seeking medical marijuana treatment continue to risk harsh criminal penalties
In the past several years, legal and cultural acceptance of the use of medical marijuana in the United States has evolved at an ever-growing pace. Nearly half of the US has now approved at least some certain uses of marijuana for medical purposes; in the meantime, though the debate over the effectiveness of marijuana to treat certain conditions or symptoms appears far from settled, this has spawned a push among the research community for expanded studies of the effectiveness of marijuana treatment for those conditions ad symptoms.
The state of Tennessee, however, has not yet joined this movement. While a bill was recently signed into law establishing a university-based study of marijuana derivatives as used to treat certain seizure conditions, similar statutes have proven unworkable in other states. The problem is that while the state of Tennessee, via the language of the statute, currently permits a research institution to cultivate and distribute marijuana as part of the study, the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States Government does not. Marijuana remains completely prohibited at the federal level as a controlled substance, and as of yet there has been no federal approval of marijuana use for any medical purposes.
In the meantime, both the Tennessee House and Senate recently attempted to introduce bills which permitted the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from certain qualifying conditions by establishing a “safe access program”. Those in the program would be issued a card which would then permit them to possess and use a “reasonable amount” of marijuana. However, the House bill failed to make it out of subcommittee, and the Senate bill died upon adjournment of the legislature.
Despite Tennessee’s continued criminalization of all marijuana possession, proponents of the medical marijuana movement remain active in the Volunteer State, and it is likely that many state residents suffering from diseases such as cancer, ALS, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other painful, chronic and debilitating medical conditions will become compelled to seek out or cultivate medical marijuana for their personal use.
Make no mistake about it, however—all marijuana use within the state of Tennessee, whether for medical or recreational purposes, remains illegal. Possession of more than a half-ounce of marijuana is a felony. Even a critically ill individual—or a family member who cultivates or obtains marijuana for that individual—risks facing the same harsh marijuana possession penalties that apply to every other Tennessee marijuana user.
Therefore, if you or a family member is arrested and charged with marijuana possession, cultivation or sale in connection with the use of marijuana for medical purposes in the state of Tennessee, it is essential that you hire an experienced Murfreesboro marijuana attorney to represent you. A skilled attorney from the firm of Kidwell, South, Beasley and Haley will not only vigorously challenge the validity of the charges and evidence being used against you, but can also eloquently and sympathetically present your medical issues in a manner which can greatly mitigate a prosecutor’s case. For a free consultation, please contact us today at 615-893-1331.