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Medical marijuana bills face opposition in state Senate

state capitol
Posted at 11:12 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 00:12:19-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Several medical marijuana bills will likely face stiff opposition in the state senate in 2021.

Over the past five years, medical cannabis bills allowing THC have failed in state senate committees. Despite bipartisan support, there are those in the legislature that won't vote for medical marijuana as long as the DEA holds the plant as a Schedule 1 substance. Marijuana holds the classification alongside drugs such as heroin, meth and Ecstasy.

"My main objection to legalization of marijuana either medical or recreational has been the federal government still considers it schedule 1 substance and that is the most dangerous of all the schedules. Until that changes my vote would be no on any of those issues," said Lt. Governor Randy McNally.

There are at least four medical marijuana bills currently being debated in the state legislature.

One allows for the consumption of cannabis oils containing THC for people battling cancer. Another, from Knoxville republican Senator Becky Massey, would decriminalize medical marijuana if a person can prove they have a serious illness and obtain the treatment from another state. A doctor would have to diagnose the person with the illness and they would only be allowed to have a 30 days supply of medical marijuana at one time.

"I had a brother-in-law that passed away from ALS and I watched him go through that process and the torture of that. I'm actually bringing that bill for him and people like him that are going through ALS and very significant illnesses," said Senator Massey.

Two other bills would also decriminalize medical marijuana, but only if federal agencies change their rules or accept marijuana as medical treatment.