January 14, 2019

April 05, 2018, Tennessee

Tennesseans were on tenterhooks to get legal medical cannabis, but the chief sponsor of the bill has crushed all those hopes by admitting that the state will not be able to pass MMJ legislation this year.

Steve Dickerson is a GOP senator from the state capital and a physician by profession. He put forward the Medical Cannabis Only Act on the Senate floor at the starting of this year. The bill was intended to make cannabis oil legal for certain medical conditions.

However, this Tuesday while briefing the members of Senate Judicial Committee, Dickerson admitted that the bill can’t see a successful transformation into legislation this year because he didn’t have the required support of the fellow senators for the original bill. Therefore, he has decided to put the bill into the general sub rather than towing it endlessly. General sub is the record where all the unsuccessful bills and motions are laid to rest.

Tennessee Medical Marijuana
Tennessee Medical Marijuana – Image powered by Tennessean.com

As per Dickerson, passing the bill with too many amendments will tarnish its essence and might do more harm than good. He also doesn’t want other senators to neutralize his efforts of several years. A military veteran, Matt Walczyk, worked along with Dickerson to devise the bill. He himself uses medical marijuana to treat his PTSD. Walczyk went on a state tour to meet other veteran and MMJ patients to gather support for the bill.

Walczyk termed the unsupportive attitude of lawmakers “heartbreaking”. He is of the thought that approval of Medical Cannabis Only Act would’ve made it easier and safer for MMJ patients in the state to get their medicines.

Before Dickerson’s decision to dump the bill in the general sub, it was extensively debated in the parliament and witnessed many highs and lows. For instance, in March the bill was near its dissolution when the Criminal Justice subcommittee’s votes on the bill saw a tie of 3-3. But in a dramatic turn of events, the house speaker used her authority to break this stalemate and allowed further debate on the bill.

Tennessee Flag with Marijuana
Tennessee Flag with Marijuana – Image powered by Thenationalmarijuananews.com

However, the amendments in the bill made it unpalatable to the sponsors and supporters of the bill. The amended version of the bill omitted the legal procedure to obtain marijuana and the powers to regulate and tax MMJ.

Another GOP senator Jeremy Faison, who co-sponsored the bill, aired his thoughts on the failure of the Act on social media. He criticizes the state senate in metaphors and also says that soon medical cannabis is going to be legal nationwide regardless of all the impediments.

Even though Sen. Dickerson has just experienced a setback, his resolve to have legal medical cannabis for Tennesseans is still unshaken. He has pledged to carry the fight of medical cannabis to the next year. While talking to media after his decision to withhold the Act, he termed it as the first day of his next year’s MMJ legalization campaign.

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]


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