Tennessee Task Force Considers Medical Marijuana

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Supporters of medical marijuana in Tennessee say it would take baby steps to make it legal here, but a first of its kind task force could speed up the process.

The task force to study the issue was set up last month by two Republican legislative leaders, and it will have its initial meeting Sept 21st.

Little by little, year after year more lawmakers seem at least more open minded about medical cannabis or medical marijuana.

“I am willing to listen when the issue comes back up in January,” says State Sen. Bill Ketron.

Case in point about new open minds is Senate Republican Caucus Chair Bill Ketron. He recently beat cancer with radiation and a stem cell transplant, but the drugs left him, like other patients with nausea and not wanting to eat.

He's a firm no on recreational use of marijuana. Not so much now on its medical use.

“So, I heard some medical doctors tell me cannabis helps with the appetite. It really helps with the nausea,” says Sen. Ketron. “I don't know, I am just open minded at this point.”

East Tennessee Republican Jeremy Faison who will co-chair chair the upcoming medical cannabis task force has gone from open minded, to full-fledged support after his pastor called him.

”He said my nephew has this rare disease and we are trying to get to CO because nothing else will work,” says Rep. Faison.

The medical cannabis task force was set up by both House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Governor Randy McNally. The L.G. needs convincing.

“Hope the committee can separate the facts from the fiction,” says McNally.

The lt. Governor says just because other states are doing it, Tennessee doesn't necessarily need to follow.

One of the main areas of opposition to medical marijuana is expected from law enforcement.



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