In many states, people with certain medical conditions can legally buy and possess marijuana to treat their condition. Unfortunately, medical marijuana laws vary from state to state. If you bring medical marijuana in a state that does not sanction its use, your prescription won’t provide a defense.
Tennessee is one state that does not have a medical cannabis law. The most recent attempt to legalize medical marijuana died in the state legislature when the House adjourned on April 22 without bringing the measure to a vote. In Tennessee, cannabis oil containing trace amounts of THC is legal for patients with qualifying conditions, but most patients find cannabis oil difficult to obtain.
Possession of marijuana is a crime in Tennessee, even if you have a prescription. The penalty for possessing up to one-half ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor for a first or second office, punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and one year in jail. You would also have a permanent criminal record that could affect your employment and other areas of your life.
For a third offense, or possession or more than half an ounce of marijuana, you face felony charges and the potential loss of civil rights such as the right to vote and the right to possess firearms.
Given consequences like these, it’s important to check with local laws when traveling with medical marijuana. If you are arrested for possession of marijuana in Tennessee, seek the advice of the local criminal defense attorney before you say anything to police. If you admit to possession of medical marijuana, you may give the state the evidence it needs to convict you.