The bill to legalize medical cannabis in Tennessee died in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday on a nearly party-line vote, WKRN reports. The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Janice Bowling, got support from only one Republican – Sen. Kerry Roberts.
The bill’s failure is the second cannabis-related legislation to be rejected by a legislative panel this session after a measure to add three nonbinding cannabis poll questions to general election ballots in 2024 was quashed by the House Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee last week. That bill would have asked voters whether medical cannabis should be legalized, whether possession of less than one ounce of cannabis should be decriminalized, and whether adult-use cannabis should be legalized, according to a WKRN report.
There is still one medical cannabis bill that could be considered by lawmakers in the General Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That measure, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jesse Chism, was taken off the House calendar last month but could be revived if it is approved by the Senate subcommittee.
In an interview with WKRN, Chism said that from his district, which includes Memphis, “you can throw a rock and hit either Mississippi or Arkansas,” which both allow medical cannabis access.
“So, you have so many people who are leaving the state of Tennessee to go have access to medical help that they cannot have in Tennessee,” he said.
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