A bill introduced last week in Tennessee would put three non-binding cannabis reform questions to voters on 2022 election ballots and require the results of the polling to be sent to the state’s General Assembly.
If approved, the measure, sponsored by Republican Rep. Bruce Griffey, would require each county commissioner to include the following “yes” or “no” questions on midterm election ballots:
- Should the State of Tennessee legalize medical marijuana?
- Should the State of Tennessee decriminalize possession of less than one ounce (1 oz.) of marijuana?
- Should the State of Tennessee legalize and regulate commercial sales of recreational-use marijuana?
A majority of voters answering in the affirmative to any or all of the questions would neither change state law nor require lawmakers to take any additional action. They are designed to serve as a directive for lawmakers to craft public policy.
Tennessee remains one of just five states that has not approved cannabis for any use, along with South Carolina, Kansas, Wyoming, and Idaho. In March, the state House Health Committee approved a measure to allow adult cancer patients access to medical cannabis oil, but that bill has not been voted on by the either full chamber of the General Assembly.
A 2018 Middle Tennessee State University poll found 81% of Tennessee voters supported cannabis legalization to some degree, with 44% backing medical cannabis legalization and 37% supporting legalization for adult use.
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