Lawmakers introduce bill to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee

FILE - (AP Photo/Jim Mone,File)

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Some Tennessee lawmakers will make a push in Nashville to legalize marijuana for medical use.

The bill would allow 50 growing operations across the state, including 15 in economically distressed areas.

Medical practitioners would have to obtain a special license to prescribe it, and patients would have to buy a $35 medical card.

Wednesday evening we spoke with Representative Jeremy Faison, one of the lawmakers backing the bill.

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, lead grower Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants in the "Flower Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Another important element is falling into place for Illinoisans to begin using medical marijuana: A University of Illinois at Chicago lab has obtained state approval to do safety and potency testing. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, lead grower Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants in the “Flower Room” at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Another important element is falling into place for Illinoisans to begin using medical marijuana: A University of Illinois at Chicago lab has obtained state approval to do safety and potency testing. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

“I’ve decided to come forward with a bill this year to make it for people that I believe science proves this plant has a benefit for their health, I am bringing forward a bill this year to allow them to have access to it. Also to allow Tennesseans to grow the plant here for medicinal purposes,” Faison said.

When we spoke to Faison over the phone Wednesday night he listed off some of the medical conditions that would qualify under his proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

“Right now we have everything from cancer, to HIV, to ALS, to PTSD,” Faison said.

Faison explained that his bill would strictly be about medicinal use.

“I have no desire to be at all like Colorado, or Washington, and I believe that we can effectively build a foundation to keep us from going that way to a rec use,” Faison said.

Faison said he hopes this is something his fellow lawmakers will agree with.

“Its been a lot of hard work, but I think we have a chance at it,” Faison said.

Representative Faison told us he hopes to have the bill to legalize medical marijuana before state lawmakers by early February.

Previous efforts to have Tennessee join the other 28 states that allow medical marijuana have failed in recent years.

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