TN bill would decriminalize marijuana possession statewide, allow counties to vote on legalization

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The bill would allow counties to hold referendum elections to allow the growing, processing, manufacture, delivery and retail sale of marijuana.

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville lawmaker wants to decriminalize marijuana possession statewide and allow voters to decide if they wish to legalize it in their county. 

Rep. Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) introduced House Bill 1610 on Monday. 

The bill would change Tennessee’s controlled substances laws to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana statewide. It would also authorize counties to hold referendum elections to allow marijuana growing, manufacturing, delivery and retail sales within their boundaries.

Rep. Staples has gone on the record in the past saying he supports the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana in Tennessee. 

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