A couple of Democratic legislators in Tennessee are trying to tackle the state’s cannabis policy reform from within. They want law enforcement officers in the Volunteer State to be more understanding and friendly to traveling medical marijuana patients by allowing them to bring their medication with them when they visit.
“We don’t tell folks from other states ‘Please come visit us, but leave your Lipitor, Zocor, Ambien, or other Rx drugs at home,’” tweeted Kyle. “It should be the same for the law abiding citizens, in the 33 other states, who have legal prescriptions for marijuana.”
We don’t tell folks from other states ‘Please come visit us, but leave your Lipitor, Zocor, Ambien, or other Rx drugs at home.’ It should be the same for the law abiding citizens, in the 33 other states, who have legal prescriptions for marijuana. https://t.co/hDK4BY06Jd— Sen. Sara Kyle (@SaraforTN) January 30, 2019
If approved, a patient with a valid medical marijuana ID card from a legal state would be permitted to bring up to one half of an ounce of dried marijuana flower with them when they visit Tennessee. One patient would also be allowed to give medical cannabis to another registered, card-holding patient without being prosecuted.
“We’re talking about 86 percent of Americans believe that doctors should be able to prescribe it as medicine,” said Johnson. “We’re a big tourism state, and a lot of people come to Tennessee. We want them to be able to bring their medicine with them and not get in trouble for it.”
Johnson was inspired to introduce the legislation when her compassion was kicked into high gear after talking with a friend in Colorado who uses cannabis to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Johnson’s father suffered from severe face neuropathy caused by multiple sclerosis, also known as trigeminal neuralgia, which generated intense and unbearable pain, and forced him to be bedridden.
Cannabis is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain, according to research. Like it does for her friend in Colorado, Johnson thinks cannabis would have increased her father’s quality of life by easing the severity of his symptoms. She wants the suffering constituents in her state to have the right that her father did not — to use marijuana medicinally.
“Certainly, we’re going to enforce the laws as they are. But I think that, we need to revisit it, what we’re doing right now is not working,” she said. “Locking People up is expensive, and it’s not working.”
Johnson encourages her fellow legislators to seek to understand their constituents. “Don’t be afraid of legislation because it seems like a controversial issue because it may not be that way to your voters,” she said. “Talk to them, and see how they think.”