Medical cannabis sponsor encouraged by conservative group poll

(Courtesy: Nexstar Media)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Republican lawmaker dubbed the “Hillbilly Hippie” who is sponsoring a medical cannabis bill on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill says a new poll backs up what he’s been telling fellow lawmakers.

Rep. Jeremy Faison cites a statewide survey of 600 “reliably Republican voters” from the Tennessee for Conservative Action (TCA) that found “52 percent of Republicans surveyed supported giving Tennesseans the freedom to manage their pain using medical cannabis.”

The East Tennessee lawmaker told News 2 “it’s an exciting poll” while saying it represents the views of “aggressive, hardcore Republican voters.”

While he found the 52 percent exciting because a majority of his party members say “this is the right way to go,” he cited another number from the TCA survey that caught his attention.

“Only 31 percent of the people in Tennessee that are GOP voters disagreed with what we are doing added the lawmaker.”

This comes as some top Republican leaders have privately said that allowing people to have marijuana for medical purposes is dead.

Rep. Faison is getting help convincing lawmakers about medical cannabis from an East Tennessee woman whose little girl has a big smile.

Stacie Mathes says her daughter Josie did not always have that smile.

“She had seizures from the first day of two months of age and they have gone on none stop–multiple medications and nothing was working,” added the mother.

Nothing was working until the East Tennessee mom had her now three year old girl try an oil form of medical cannabis from another state.

“It took us a year but we eliminated all four seizure medicines. She came out of her baby doll state that she was in,” added the Stacie who hopes lawmakers will be softened by her little girl’s smile.

The TCA poll contains several other results on major Capitol Hill issues such as the gas tax and the state surplus.