Tennessee lawmaker plans to introduce medical marijuana bill

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Arkansas allows medical marijuana, and Mississippi will soon join them. Could Tennessee join the club?

State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) plans to introduce a new medical marijuana bill when lawmakers re-convene in January. It’s a change she’s been trying to get for years.

She and other proponents say marijuana can help people with certain health problems.

Bowling has had doctors testify on her behalf, but it hasn’t been enough to convince other lawmakers to support the idea.

Now that Mississippi and other states are loosening restrictions, she hopes more of her colleagues will back her bill.

“We’re up to 43 states that have legalized it and many of the states around us have legalized it,” Bowling said. “We are being foolish in the worst sense of the word. Just incredibly foolish and incredibly lacking in responsiveness to what is now readily available for people to know that this is a safe medicine solution.”

Bowling’s bill would permit the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana throughout Tennessee.        

Qualifying conditions would include illnesses like cancer, glaucoma and PTSD. 

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