Medical cannabis is doing all kinds of amazing things. It is helping people of all ages and all walks of life. From children to senior citizens and in between, people are finding a use for medical cannabis in their daily lives. Individuals suffering from Crohn’s disease, cancer, certain types of epilepsy, ALS, and other medical conditions are finding that cannabis either works as a companion medicine to current prescriptions they take or helps them to alleviate the need for mass prescriptions.
Cannabis does so many different things for so many different people because it works uniquely with our natural endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids and terpenes work together to help perform vital roles throughout our body which makes us healthier. In many instances, cannabis helps people control the symptoms of chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, migraine headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, stress, depression, anxiety, and many other symptoms commonly experienced by people today.
Currently, 37 states across America have legal access to medical cannabis. It should be all states. Cannabis legalization is currently held up by its federal scheduling as a Schedule I drug with no accepted medical use and a high potential for addiction or abuse. This archaic and outdated cannabis policy hasn’t been revisited in more than eight decades other than to increase penalties for the American people. Will this change soon?
Legislation is Why TN Still Doesn’t Have Legal Access to Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis should be coming to states like Tennessee soon. If not, the only people to blame are elected State Representatives. Cannabis is medicine, and more than 80% of the nation agrees with this. It’s time our elected representatives acknowledge this and make positive changes to cannabis policy. “It’s not the demon drug that people have made it out to be.”-Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) This quote by Mr. Freeman should echo louder to lawmakers today than ever before in our past.
Unfortunately, the elected representatives in states like TN, KY, and KS have failed the people they are supposed to represent and continue to fail them. Media sources in these states are finally starting to ask valid questions about cannabis legalization, like why isn’t it legal yet? This is exactly what happened recently in Tennessee. When asked about why medical cannabis isn’t legal in Tennessee, Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) was quoted telling local media, “I don’t know if I have a good answer. If I did, we wouldn’t be here four years later.”
When Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) was asked about medical cannabis legalization in the Volunteer State, she was quoted by local media saying, “It’s amazing how behind we are on that. We actually have polls that show us very clearly that most Tennesseans, by an overwhelming majority, are for some kind of legalization.” She went on to say, “Really, this is just a bottleneck in the legislature, which is a problem because legislators are supposed to be representing their constituents.”
Sen. Campbell was, of course, referencing a poll conducted in 2018 by Middle State Tennessee University, which showed that 80% of Tennesseans supported some form of cannabis legislation, such as legal access to medical cannabis.
MTSU Poll on Marijuana Legalization in TN
· 81 percent of Tennessee voters say it should be legalized to some degree
· 37 percent say it should be legal for personal use
· 44 percent say it should only be legal for medicinal use
· 16 percent say it should remain entirely illegal
Some Lawmakers Aren’t Giving Up on Tennesseans When it Comes to Legal Access to Medical Cannabis
Mr. Freeman and Sen. Campbell plan on reintroducing the same bill again in January when the new session starts. Mr. Freeman and Sen. Campbell look like they won’t be alone when it comes to pressing for cannabis legalization at the start of the new session. Senator Janice Bowling told local media she has plans on bringing legislation to the table that would allow medical cannabis sales, use, and cultivation at the start of the next session.
Sen. Bowling is no stranger to cannabis legalization legislation. She has worked on trying to pass medical cannabis in the state of Tennessee in the past. Sadly, none of these attempts ever made it past the Committee. It seems when it comes to legal access to medical cannabis for Tennesseans, that bills go to the Senate Judiciary Committee to die.
If the majority of the state, over 80%, supports medical cannabis legalization, then why are the state representatives not supporting the will of their constituents? The only answer can be that they are vested in special private interests. These people need to be removed from office so that new Representatives that actually represent their constituents can help move the state of Tennessee out of the dark ages to catch up with modern times and the other 37 states in the United States of America that have decided to unite citizens with legal access to medical cannabis in their state.
Why States like Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Kansas, and others continue to divide our nation is a question more people should ask. Are the citizens of these states not worthy of the same freedoms as the rest of America? This is the message that political representatives in these states who stand against cannabis legalization are sending out, in my opinion. Hopefully, the state of Tennessee will see progress with access to legal medical cannabis at the start of the new session. Sadly, citizens of the state will likely have to vote out elected representatives and replace them with new ones that work for the people instead of for themselves.
Currently, the state is big on methadone clinics, with more than a dozen of them. Then there are cannabis incarcerations, especially when it comes to people of color, with TN ranking 13th highest in the nation for arresting African-Americans for marijuana possession. Methadone clinics and mass incarceration of African-Americans help support profits for pharma, private prisons, and others in the state of TN, it looks like. Let’s hope enough people see this and make a positive change happen. Who knows, maybe 2023 could be the year medical cannabis is legalized for TN.
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