As anticipated, Tennessee's Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act (House Bill 294/Senate Bill 251), is likely dead for the 2012 legislative session. Nonetheless, advocates made significant strides within the state legislature, laying the groundwork for what we hope will be a successful bid in 2013.
In the waning days of this year's session, Tennessee's Medical Cannabis Act received favorable votes from a pair of Committees within the Republican-led legislature. Hearings held in favor of the measure also received widespread, positive media attention (exemplified here and here).
Speaking on this year's progress, House sponsor Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis) said: "My colleagues, if it weren't for political considerations, would pass this. Enough of them have come and talked to me privately and admit that this is a good, compassionate bill. They are scared it will hurt them in their re-elections."
Of course, we know that it won't. But it is up to you personally to contact your state elected officials and make it clear that their constituents stand firmly in support of allowing for the medical use of marijuana. NORML has a pre-written letter, which may be e-mailed to your House and Senate members, available by visiting NORML's Take Action Center here:
Additional information on statewide reform efforts is available by contacting Tennessee NORML.
The NORML Team