November 03, 2017 Tennessee
In the backdrop of ongoing opioid epidemic in the country, Democrats from the state of Tennessee have had an important session in which they voted in favor of legalized medical marijuana in the state. Moreover, they also passed other libertarian declarations to help several causes. Tennessee democrats also backed the demand of doubling of minimum per hour wages in the state. It’s worth mentioning that Tennessee is among those five states that don’t have their own minimum wage law. The Democrats also voted in favor of the demand to expand the healthcare coverage of the state.
Tennessee Democrats Going Pro-cannabis
As per a report of Associated Press, the executive committee of the coalition of Democrats in the Tennessee had the voting session to express the party’s line and future lawmaking objectives.
According to the members of the executive committee of Tennessee Democratic Party, their support for doubling the minimum wage and medical marijuana has been elicited due to alarming circumstances.
The foremost concern is the ever-amplifying opioid crisis in the country. Even though President Donald Trump has formally declared one of the US’ history lethal and deadly drug crisis as a public health emergency. However, critics and non-critics are on the same page on this development. They think that this announcement is not what was promised by the president, Trump had earlier promised to declare opioid crisis a national emergency.
It is important to understand there is huge difference between public health emergency and national emergency. The former has severe shortage of funds which are not enough to deal with the crisis of that scale. On the other hand, if opioid crisis would have declared as a national emergency, it had enough resources and money.
Due to this futile measure taken by the federal administration, now several states are trying to find ways to tackle the opioid crisis on their own. Among alternative solutions, legalizing medical marijuana is one of them and Democrats in the state of Tennessee are considering it as the solution.
According to the AP report, Gary Blackburn, a member of Tennessee Democratic Party mentioned in the party session about the mounting research studies backing the health benefits of medical marijuana. He further advocated making medical cannabis legal in the state to fight the opioid epidemic. Surveys conducted in this domain shows that there is connection between poverty, unemployment and opioid abuse. Increasing the minimum level of hourly wage can also be a vital measure to fight opioid crisis. Tennessee has the largest number of workers at minimum wage as per federal authorization.
Therefore, coalition of Democrats from the state want an increment in hourly wages. One member of the committee mentioned that increasing the hourly minimum wage to $15 would help more than 15% of the residents of the state in improving their lives.
However, it will not be an easy fight for the Democrats because Republicans have majority in the bicameral General Assembly of the state. Nevertheless, Tennessee Democrats should be commended for putting marijuana on their priority list.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]