Lawmakers Refuse Even to Think About Medical Marijuana

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We guess it’s an idea whose time hasn’t quite arrived in Tennessee. Lawmakers won’t even agree to let state government study whether to legalize medical marijuana.

Under this legislation, the state would license farmers to grow cannabis at tightly restricted compounds, then sell prescribed doses through pharmacies to alleviate the pain and suffering of the sick and dying. Tennessee would join 14 other state-run medical-marijuana programs either under way or in development in this country.

Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, realized her bill wouldn’t pass the House Health Committee. But she thought she could persuade the committee to send it to the state Board of Pharmacy for a year of study.

“This is very important to the people of this state who are sick and dying and suffering that this get a fair hearing and consideration, I think we owe that to them,” she said.

Instead, the committee voted 12-9 today against the study, and Richardson quickly postponed her legislation to keep it alive—at least theoretically.

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