A piece of legislation being pushed through the Tennessee House of Representatives is aimed at legalizing the use of medical marijuana in the state.
House Bill 1385, also known as the Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced by Nashville democrat Rep. Sherry Jones last week.
Advocate Bernie Ellis has been pushing for legalized medical marijuana in Tennessee for more than a decade.
“Our whole cannabis policy has been a failure for 70 years,” Ellis said.
Ellis told News 2 there's more support this year than he's ever seen.
“We think this year there is a level of discussion and interest in the issue that's really been unprecedented in my experience,” said Ellis.
So far, 21 states and the District of Columbia have approved medical marijuana use, with Colorado and Washington State approving recreational use.
However, not everyone in Tennessee is sold on legalization.
Rep. Glen Casada, the Chairman of the Republican House Caucus and a powerful voice in the state capitol, said he's not convinced that the medical use of marijuana is right for this state.
“In the past I've voted 'no' for medical use,” Casada said. “But again, I do hold the option that I will listen to the medical community and to both sides. But I need to be convinced before I can vote for it.”
HB 1385 will go to the House Health Subcommittee for discussion.
- Jan. 24, 2013: Medical marijuana advocates hope to advance bill
- April 4, 2012: Medical marijuana bill stalls in state Senate
- April 26, 2010: Medical marijuana advocates try again
- Feb. 18, 2010: Bill would legalize marijuana for medical purposes