Tennessee Lawmakers to Introduce New, Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

Two state lawmakers in Tennessee announced on Thursday that they plan to introduce a comprehensive medical marijuana legalization bill. Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Ron Travis plan to introduce the bill in the coming weeks, according to media reports.

Bowling said in a press release that she believes cannabis can be part of the solution to the nationwide epidemic of opioid overdose deaths.

“I have been in the fight against opioids and pill mills. Opioids have become a tragedy for Tennesseans,” Bowling said. “Our constituents can use a natural and effective option for pain relief that is not controlled or pushed by Big Pharma. When I see medical studies showing that states with medical cannabis programs had an average 23 percent drop in opioid prescription use and overdoses, I see a real option we can use.”

If the bill passes, patients with certain qualifying health conditions would be able to obtain a medical marijuana identification card to allow them to legally purchase cannabis. A commission would be created to regulate patient access and license cultivators and retailers. Bowling said the experience of other states was drawn upon to draft this medical cannabis solution for Tennessee.

“I wanted a new bill that

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