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Could the Medicinal Marijuana Bill Return in 2020 in TN?

The Medicinal marijuana bill is postponed for now, but what does that mean?

Many legislators have been trying to push marijuana reform in Tennessee for years. Just last year, it looked as though a bill allowing medical marijuana was about to be passed, before it was struck down in its final moments. In April of this year, lawmakers once again stopped all efforts of legalizing marijuana in any capacity until at least 2020. This is troubling news for anyone, particularly individuals who are found with even the smallest amount of marijuana, as it can still result in harsh consequences such as jail time and high fines.

What the Bill Would Allow

When the latest bill was discussed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee in April, it was agreed that it was the strongest bill of its kind to go before the legislature. It was also the most complete.

The bill would have allowed the government to issue medical marijuana licenses to individuals with certain conditions. Those individuals include those suffering from cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV or AIDS, and severe arthritis. It would have also allowed individuals and companies to purchase licenses to cultivate and sell medical marijuana.

The bill would not have allowed individuals to smoke marijuana. It did provide for vapes, edibles, lotions, and oils. If lawmakers had passed the bill, medicinal marijuana would have been allowed in the state as early as the summer of 2020.

The Current Status of the Bill

Shortly before the bill was to be heard, Senator Steve Dickerson, one of the sponsors of the bill, stated that amendments needed to be made to it. He also stated that without those amendments already included in the bill, it was likely to fail. As such, a decision on the bill has simply been postponed until the legislature is back in session. This, argued Dickerson, was a better alternative to it dying in committee.

Currently, the Tennessee General Assembly has adjourned and will reconvene on January 14, 2020. It is possible that the medicinal marijuana bill will be heard after that time and that it will make it further than it has in the past.

Until then, it is imperative that everyone in Tennessee understands that marijuana is still considered an illegal substance under the Tennessee Drug Control Act. It is not legal in any form, and it has not been decriminalized. That means that anyone caught with as little as a few grams can face up to a year in jail and high fines. Additionally, they will also have a permanent criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Facing Marijuana Charges? Call Our Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyers

Being charged with a marijuana offense is very scary. At Burch, Morrison, & Stewart, our Manchester criminal defense lawyers know how to build a strong defense for these charges to help you retain your freedom. We will fully investigate the nature of your charges and determine which strategy will yield you the most positive outcome. If you are facing charges, call us today at (931) 954-1066 to schedule your free consultation.

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