Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Dies After Hearing

Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Dies After Hearing

"We will eventually pass it, you ... just have to decide how many people will suffer before we do it," bill's sponsor says

NASHVILLE, TN — A Tennessee bill that would have legalized medical marijuana died following testimony before a key House committee on Wednesday, despite testimony from supporters that the legislation would benefit hundreds of chronically ill people and generate roughly an added $34 million for the state.

Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville. (image/Euthman)

State Representative Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis), sponsor of the Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act, withdrew the bill after testimony on behalf of the legislation in the House Health and Human Resources Committee. The hearing capped a surprising week for the bill, set in motion by an unexpected vote in its favor in a Republican-led subcommittee last week.

Richardson agreed to withdraw the bill, House Bill 294 and it’s companion, Senate Bill 251, after the Government Operations Committee voted 5-4 Wednesday to send the proposal to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, which has closed for the year unless its chairman decides to reopen it. Last week, the bill passed a House Health subcommittee.

Richardson says most of her colleagues in the legislature support the idea of legalizing medical marijuana, although she admits that some believe it would be political suicide to vote in favor of the bill.  She hopes to change their mind, and that the late-session momentum will persuade her colleagues to support medical marijuana when they return after their re-election campaigns in the fall.

“We’re all going to be out campaigning,” she said. “This is your time to talk to your constituents about this and ask them what they think. And I think if you all talk to enough of your constituents, you will see that most people think it’s a good idea. They’re going to find out that lots of people are doing this illegally and would like us to legalize it,” adding that compassionate care should outweigh the fear of losing a few votes at the ballot box.

“It’s making people understand, mo matter which side of the political spectrum it’s on, that it is a compassionate way to treat certain illnesses,” she said.

Richardson says that while legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee, her proposed bill would have created some of the toughest access standards among medical marijuana states. It would set up a licensing and enrollment program for the production, distribution and dispensing of marijuana for qualifying medical conditions.

Unique to the proposed Tennessee legislation, the measure would also have allowed a medical marijuana patient to enroll in a “safe access” program in which the patient could receive a prescription from a licensed practitioner for marijuana and receive the product from a licensed pharmacist at a participating pharmacy.

Rep. Richardson plans to re-introduce the bill when the legislature reconvenes in the fall, adding that she hopes the legislation will pass sooner, rather than later.

“We will eventually pass it, you … just have to decide how many people will suffer before we do it,” Richardson told the committee.

  • WhiteRabbit77

    The people of Tennessee should not stand for  their state governments delay tactics.
    Red the page at the link below for the truth about marijuana, and the need for legalization.


  • captaintripsm

    They consider political suicide over patients living a quality of life. It appears they are thinking of only the money going into their pockets over the terminally ill patients that can benefit from the healing qualities of Cannabis……..

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Lizama/100000261280697 David Lizama

       Only because we keep re-electing them regardless of their stance. Vote 3rd party. Dem and GOP both run in fear from cannabis.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FY7C37SAMUQJDJAIB7R24KX5MY Donald

    Must I show drug dealers my location for viable reasons why tennessee errored regarding  failed medical marijuana legalization ? Except for the 2 brave Tenn. Legislators vote next election for any incumbent that voted against it. I am retired law enforcement.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FY7C37SAMUQJDJAIB7R24KX5MY Donald

    How can’t use yahoo?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FY7C37SAMUQJDJAIB7R24KX5MY Donald

    I would recommend that if you live in Tennessee and need Cannabis products for your pain/ nausea or any other medical benefits to leave tennessee for another state that has more sense. As a retired Special Agent US Criminal Investigator and no not the Dea or Secret Service which need an enema. I worked from Alabama to Maine to DC Chesapeake Bay and Maryland, covertly in Texas, Arizona and even down into Mexico. I can attest to the fact that where the US and much of Tennessee gets its ‘ILLEGAL” marijuana from (approx. 80%) northern Mexico. Working environmental crimes from early 1970’s to 2005 documenting very harmful chemicals, including pesticides….DDT, DDE, Chlordane, Malathion, diazinon, Furidan 15G, and fenthion which myself and other federal Agents documented to ban fom use on American soils. The companies that where found responsible were Olin Chemical (producer and distributor) of DDT from 1947 to 1972. It almost wiped out American Symbol the Bald Eagle as well as giving cancer to many folks later in life. Also FMC corp. which we successfully prosecuted for killing thousands of birds including 22 Bald Eagles from 1986 to 1989 near DC.  Their top officials accused me and 2 other agents of costing them $200 million annually. They told us that they would just ship more abroad and we believed them because they told us ‘out of spite”.  And that folks is the bottom Line. Guess where most of it was shipped to. That’s right! Mexico!!!! They even moved and built plants there and continued to produce they say until 1998. There are 1000’s of 55 gallon drums of DDT and Chlordane, and other very harmful chemicals stll used there which affect insects nervous system as well as our own system. 80% of DDT put into the soil remains there 15 years later. Ever wonder why you see guys as early as their late 40’s with shaky hands. DDt and other chemicals listed above, altering genetic DNA, etc. Mexican drug cartels in an effort to protect their crop from insect use illegal pesticides, fungasides, and herbicides on their marijuana crops. In recent years as soon as this last growing season drought has devastated over 70% of The marijuana crop in Mexico. Expect this years crop to be laced with Methamphetamine. Why? Because Marijuana takes months to grow, is bulky to store and smuggle into US especially since so much attention has been focused on the borders there due to illegal immigrants. If you go for vacation in Tucson, Ariz., or further south in Arizona best you be armed.  Our politicians know this but do NOT care any more about your health than the Mexican drug cartels. They are influenced by huge lobbyists especially Pharmaceutical companies, Local law enforcement as well as they are more concerned about their budgets and any way to justify their own existence, than they are your health. Also, Doctors to as they despise any form of self medication, Cigarette companies, alcohol companies which marijuana which is much less harmful will take away their profits. It is easier for our kids and other young adults to get marijuana than it is cigarettes and alcohol because ruthless drug dealers which are also opposed to legalization don’t ask your child for an ID. Think about that!! Saw where Tenn. knocked it down. This was a very bad mistake. And Obama will as he said not legalize it anytime soon”. Why? Because he is more concerned about getting reelected and being remembered as the first young, black President that legalized dope. Says he can’t over rule Congressional law. That is true but he can reschedule it from a schedule I drug like heroin, to a schedule II with a strike of the pen and he knows it. If he didn’t want to help then he can get his AG (attorney general) to do that as Eric Holder also has the authority, but he is black, too.  Hydrocodone which is a schedule III drug is MUCH MORE addictive and the most prescribed drug in America today. Drugists make a fortune off that pain killer whereas prescription meds are the 3 rd leading cause of death in the US. Tobacco is number one and alcohol is number 2, which both account for over 500,000 deaths a year either directly or indirectly. There was I know no deaths attributed to marijuana in 2010. True Story! I’m telling you folks from experience….DON’T use Marijuana because it mostly comes from Mexico and therefore very harmful. The drug cartels know, unfortunately, that there is a market here in US for Meth.’  so its on its way and what is left of their marijuana crop this year will most likely contain meth. Just ask your Doctor if you trust him/her. I read tenn. penalties which are archaic and state reps won’t change it unless their own kids get infected or the threat of losing either money or votes.
    “The penalties for possession of any drug should never be more damaging to the individual that the drug itself”……President Jimmy Carter.

  • http://twitter.com/UncleBuck901 Edward Spangler

    this would save our country from the debt it is in. Think about it. Don’t let us be the last one to legalize it. We were one of the last states to pass the bill for the lottery, But that bill helped millions of students in college. Stop being afraid of weed and smoke it already!!!!

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  • Rob

    Iv been living in my wheelchair for over 20 years with muscle spasms , lower back,  leg pain, and many of sleepless nights medical marijuana will not only help me and many others like me  it will help put the marijuana dealers out of business

  • Fuzzybark

    I feel that there are basically two major reasons why certain parties are against the legalization of cannibis. 1. Ignorance and 2. Political Ambition

  • tn is stupid

    i think tn is just plain stupid as hell to be honest becuase this could help so many ppl with cancer and ect and bribng the crime rate way down cuz all they ever do is wanna bust ppl selling weed well if it was legal and the ppl who need it could just go to a store then would there be so many drug dealers and ppl addicted to pills no

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  • dudewhat

    all of you ignorant gov fucks are ridiculous. you put numerous harmful chemicals in tobacco product for supposed population control. among other reasons, such as diseases to feed the damn pharmies; that just produce drugs to fix one problem. though in doing the drugs cause many other life altering side effects that simlpy do not seem worth the hassle, agony, embarrasment, and of course the ridiculous pricing on prescription drugs. pardon my spelling. in which that some of these drugs side effects are so very severe that some may in fact need yet another prescription drug to tend to their ailment. i mean really fluoride is pumped into our water supply to make our teeth just that much more shiny and appealing. screw that shit.correct me if i am wrong though doesnt fluoride deposit in a human body similar to how mercury does. shaving numerous years off of a persons life. not to mention calcifying the pineal gland located in the brain. that another story for another time. you allow thing such as these to be done unpunished, and wont let people simply smoke a little pot. not even that if people could use marijuana legally, most may not even smoke it. so dont even try to bring up the carcinogenic effect of smoking marijuana. tobacco is legal.not to mention all the little treats the are put into all tobacco products. hot dogs have been known to cause types of cancer. why not illegalize oscar myer.oh yeah and also the amount of trees that could be used in lumber production if the introduction of hemp was use as the main production of parchment. not saying that more trees should be cut down for the lumber industry. so why no decriminalize marijuana nation wide. far too much money has been spent keep petty pot offenders locked up. many of the citizens locked up in our prisons or jails could do so much more for our society if they were just free. not to mention the stacks and stacks of money that has been used to keep prisoners imprisoned. i mean all prisoners not just drug offenders. with all money used to spent to keep facilities up to par, which most are definitely not. there would be more money to produce more jobs in the united states to keep people from comitting such crimes. anyways pharmacies are more responsible for families being ruined . then a pot peddler down the street. thats my opinion, but people dont inject plant matter into their veins. scrutinize me all you like. others may have the same if not the similar opinion as I. THC or little pill that was formulated in a lab.
    take your pick.

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  • Blake

    Fuck you Tennessee, almost everyone smokes weed now adays. It’s time to punch new holes in the bible belt and let’s evolve as a society vs feeding us bull shit all the time. People need to stop being scared of drugs, you can go to your local Wal-Mart or anywhere else and get Robutsussin or anything containing DXM and get fucked up. The thing is that stuff eats holes in your brain, does weed??? I don’t think so, also you can go get this thing called “Air Duster” or “Cool Whip” from the can and huff the shit out of it and get fuuuuuucked the fuck up (also spray paint or glue or permanent markers.) I can go to the gas station and buy a pack of fucking cigarettes or any other tobacco product, except that will slowly cause cancer over time which weed has been known to help treat cancer dumb ass. I can eat a bunch of benadril and feel like I’m floating and not be able to carry on a normal conversation, but weed all i wanna do is eat, watch crazy shit on the internet/tv, i look at life and other things in a whole different perspective, and even make tasty treats with weed. People are always going to find ways to get high, you need to be teaching people about responsibility when doing drugs and to be stronger than the drugs themselves vs saying “hey don’t fucking do that or we’ll lock you up,” Weed helps the economy more than you may think, I’m the type that would rather get high vs owning “Things” but if i didn’t have to give so much money to drug dealers, the economy could get more use out of me I could get high and go spend money on food, activities, etc. I don’t do a lot of drugs I like to smoke weed and trip balls off of organics (weed, mushrooms, lsd, dmt, mdma, etc.) If you guys would stop being FAGS (not pertaining to gays) and just make/grow all the shit yourselves, it would give more jobs to people and also it would be much safer than some random noob in chemistry trying to make all of these synthetic drugs. We wouldn’t need synthetic drugs, such as bathsalts, to get high, we could just get the real deal.

    • Joshua Robinson

      Just an FYI, LSD and MDMA are not organic compounds. They do not occur naturally and require lab synthesis. Hallucinogen is maybe the word you were looking for, Also, all the cussing and ignorant language does nothing to help the cause. People like you feed in to the stereotype of moronic stoner. The fact of the matter is, I enjoy a nice bowl not only because of the pleasant side effects, but because after years of being prescribed various sleeping pills from weak to strong and still being unable to sleep, I turned to a more natural remedy in marijuana and have not looked back. I also witnessed my cancer ridden grandfather experience periods of relaxation and comfort by using marijuana when even the strongest of pain medications failed to provide relief, or simply made him pass out.

      Above and beyond all of this is the fact that the war on drugs is ludicrous and when the people want a change the government should effect the change.

      • Ching Chang

        LSA is an organic compound, and its the same thing as lsd, its just not synthesized to its sigularity, meaning you have to take more for it to equal LSD. Grows naturally in ergot and can come from various strains of Morning Glory Plants

  • Brittany Robertson

    we need to have it legalized in TN! It would help a lot of people and it would help to alleviate debts. I hate taking pills that have horrible side effects. If I could replace it with Marijuana I would. At least it’s natural, no negative side effect except the impact on lungs which is less that tobacco use, and you can’t over dose on it. We have tobacco with no medical help that kills us and alcohol is legal when aside from the benefits of one glass of red whine a night for heart health all it does is damage our organs and the people who drink and drive kill people and swerve all over the road. never seen anyone speed and wreck due to marijuana and no one has ever died from it!

  • Jessica

    My mother died from cancer. During her 2 1/2 years of chemo she received she faded away to a person i barley recongized. She had so many pills that she used a tackle box to store them. Her pain pills made her sick. She couldnt keep down food. Her last 2 years were absolute hell! Not to mention we all watched our mother (at very young ages) suffer. Our last memories of her are heartbreaking at best. What if my mother would have been able to smoke cannabis? Would she have been in less pain while still being able to eat her dinner? Probably. Would she have looked more like the mother i had known my whole life? Probably. Would it have made her last days on earth more bareable? Probably. Would she have been able to spend more time with us and less in bed crying and screaming from the pain? Yes. Continuing to deny the people of Tennessee the same rights as now many states in this country is down right cruel. I think this is an issue for the people to decide. PUT IT TO VOTE! I can tell you now, that WHEN this happens i will help campaign for this cause. Its something i and many others believe is our right and choice to do with what we please. Not to mention the income we could recieve from such an industry. AND JOBS! I vote a choice of natural substance over pills that make us sicker!

  • Kevin

    Hope they legalize marijuana

  • fuckTnImaSmokeAnyway

    think about it Prescription abuse + illegal marijuna + people in jails + fines and court cost = gov gets shit load of money …. legalized marijuana + less prescripton abuse + less in jail = the government loosing money

  • NashvilleSuxAss

    Tennessee is one of the most backwards states in the south. Decades behind Colorado or Washington State, and Light years behind California. All government protects us, but none of them want their citizens to be happy and satisfied. Too much money to be made by the cops who arrest you on ‘your pursuit of happiness’. No Vandy doctor is going to perscribe medical marijuana anyway. They sit there, in their offices all day, telling people to stop smoking Marijuana, a drug they never tried, and know nothing about. Tennesseans are not very smart people, especially Tennessee bible thumping doctors. If they were smart, California would have a much bigger over-population problem than it does. Why are all Vandy doc’s snot nosed, aloof, spoiled rich dumb bastards? It’s redundant and rhetorical. Dumb children are given good grades, smart kids are failed – its a Tennessee tradition. Republicans will shoot any marijuana bill down, on behalf of the privatized prison owners. The reasons they will tout will be old myths they were always told about marijuana, which is why they were scared to ever try it in the first place. Trained monkeys of the 20th century.

  • NashvilleSuxAss

    Because they never tried it, because they were scared of it, they are still scared of it. Its a personal issue, and a personal choice-AND a personal jealousy. Marijuana subdues cancer. its an Antispasmodic,it was in the pharmicopia from 1854 to 1941. No Vandy doctor is smart enough to research this, so I added a link to my source. Suck it you Vandy retards.


  • kelly

    weed should be legal before alcohol!! no one gets in carwrecks tottalling their cars and killing innocent drivers from being high on weed!! alcohol causes people to fight, total their vehicles, beat their spouse, my mothers first husband was killed by a drunk driving asshole, not a high driving asshole!!! i am going through a divorce and have stopped smoking weed on count so i can visit my daughter .it sucks real bad, i dont sleep good, i am smoking more cigarettes which causes my chest to hurt, i have all kinds of dreams that interrupt my slleep

  • me

    pass it lol

  • ken

    i have severe back pain and im going to smoke marijuana because it helps better than the lortab the doctors give me. screw the government because its my body and i know what works and what does not. im here in tennessee so fuck u washington.

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  • politesuggestion

    Posting things on the internet won’t help the cause any at all people. What will help… Write letters to your state government. That is how to get things done.