With more than half of U.S. states legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and some of those even allowing recreational purposes as well, you may be wondering if Tennessee is on board. Currently, the Volunteer State does not allow marijuana for any type of consumption.
However, related legislation changes and progress have occurred over the years. Knowing what they are and how they affect you can help you avoid criminal drug charges.
Medical marijuana bill
The legislative session for 2017-2018 saw an amended bill for legalizing medical marijuana. It added restrictions on how to obtain permission to use it and for what physical ailments, no longer including chronic pain. Cards from other states would not be valid in Tennessee, either. Supporters believe decriminalizing marijuana would help with the more severe opioid crisis. Opposition strongly comes from state health officials and police, the latter worrying about an increase in high drivers. Despite the greater support due to the amendments, the bill did not go further for fear that the changes negated the intended benefits.
However, other laws have changed somewhat in favor of marijuana users. First, cannabis oil that is low in THC and high in CBD is permissible for those who suffer from seizures, but the person must obtain it in a different state. Second, penalties for marijuana possession in small amounts have decreased. Past charges for possession will no longer raise the current charges higher than a misdemeanor. The reduction in consequences, however, was to strengthen DUI laws.
Laws regarding marijuana possession, distribution and cultivation are likely to change in the near future due to the consistent increasing support of decriminalizing the drug. For now, though, it is in your best interest to act in accordance with current laws and avoid consuming, producing or selling cannabis. Criminal charges of any kind can hurt various areas of your life for many years.