By Steve Elliott
A Democratic lawmaker has filed a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee.
"It's just simply a matter of being rational and compassionate," said Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville), who sponsors HB 1385, reports Tom Humphrey at The Knoxville News-Sentinel. "It would apply to only the most severely debilitated people ... children suffering a hundred seizures a day, people on chemotherapy, people with multiple sclerosis ... people with a plethora of diseases."
The Tennessee Legislature passed a bill allowing "marijuana by prescription" under state law in the 1980s, but that bill was unworkable as it required federal permission. Attempts since then have died in legislative committees, most recently in 2012.
But Rep. Jones, along with Doak Patton, president of Tennessee NORML, say times have changed in the state because of the rapidly developing political situation around cannabis.
"This really isn't about marijuana at all," said Patton. "It's about freedom and liberty."
"I think anybody would tell you alcohol is much worse than marijuana," Rep. Jones said. "If you think alcohol should be legal, then you would think that for sure medical marijuana should be legal."