At the time of writing, a total of 36 states have opted to legalize cannabis in some form or another. For the other states, that means taking a look at their own cannabis laws and deciding whether to join the pack or not.
As WTVC News reports, Tennessee lawmakers had that question on their plate with a new bill designed to legalize medical cannabis and its infrastructure.
The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act
In an effort to reduce opioid overdoses, lawmakers pointed to medical studies highlighting overdose reduction in states with medical cannabis programs. This bill aims to increase the number of low-cost public health options while also developing agricultural business.
The bill legalizes the use of cannabis with a prescribed medical card for qualifying conditions. It would also establish guidelines to regulate the seed-to-sale market for growing and distributing cannabis.
The report does not mention whether or not the bill passed or failed in the Senate debate.
The current state of cannabis in Tennessee
While policymakers may decide to legalize cannabis in the future, it remains illegal today. It is important for anyone to understand the current laws and penalties for cannabis use. Possession of any amount may result in misdemeanor charges, up to one year incarceration and up to $500 in fines with repeat offenses.
The sale of cannabis starting from a half-ounce is a felony with incarceration terms ranging from one to 60 years and fines ranging up to $200,000.
These convictions leave black marks on peoples’ records and those facing charges for cannabis use or possession today still deserve a strong defense against cannabis allegations.