The next state to welcome medical marijuana could be Tennessee thanks to Rep. Sherry Jones’s HB-1385, also known as the “Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act.” The bill would license pharmacies, producers, and processors for a legal system defying unconstitutional federal pot prohibition. The act could take effect as early as this July.

Section 4 of HB-1385 lays out protections against state force on any patient, provider, or practitioner. 4(a) reads [pdf]:

A qualifying patient who possesses a Safe Access program identification card
shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right
or privilege, including, but not limited to, a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a
business or occupational or professional licensing board or commission for the medical
use of cannabis, provided that the qualifying patient is enrolled in the Safe Access
program.

Last week, 1,200 miles away in Denver, Colorado, the first legal purchases of recreational marijuana were made since voters passed an initiative in November 2012. So far the Rockies haven’t crumbled and all the positive news may be encouraging to Tennessee and other states, no matter what form of decriminalization policy is debated.

HB-1385 author Rep. Sherry Jones, is a Democrat, and typically marijuana bills, be they medical or recreational legalization, are lead by Democrats. But this could quickly become a bipartisan issue.

“I can tell you now that there is a lot of grassroots support for HB-1385,” says former Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee member Barry Donegan, noting a Republican-lead industrial hemp legalization effort. Donegan continues, “Tennessee is second in the nation in domestic marijuana production and this bill would benefit our farmers if they’re allowed to get in on the coming boom early.”

The bill is yet to be assigned to a committee so if you’re in Tennessee, you may want to contact your legislator and give them a head’s up they might be seeing this soon.

ACTION ITEMS

If you live in Tennessee

1. Contact your representative and ask him or her to support HB1835. You can find legislator contact information HERE.

2.  Share this information widely.  Please pass this along to your friends and family.  Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state.  Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.

LEGISLATION AND TRACKING

If you don’t live in [state] encourage your representative and senator to introduce legislation to put control of marijuana in the state’s hands. You can track efforts nationwide HERE. You can find model legislation HERE.


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