TN lawmakers to introduce medical marijuana bill; local residents react

JACKSON, Tenn. – There’s apparently a push in this year’s state legislature to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

“I feel that some people need it for cancer cells or relaxation,” said Jamal Staten, a medical marijuana supporter. “I would like the bill to get passed and go into effect immediately.”

State Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Ron Travis, both Republicans, announced they will introduce comprehensive legislation to regulate access to medical marijuana.

“I don’t use it, but who knows, maybe one day everybody will have to take it at some point if they’re, if they have a medical situation,” said Kenneth MacQuilliam, who supports the use of medical marijuana.

The proposal would allow qualified patients to obtain medical cards if they are diagnosed with specific medical conditions and purchase products from companies that are licensed by Tennessee and owned by Tennesseans to cultivate, process and dispense cannabis.

“I heard it’s maybe good for cancer patients, different ailments.” MacQuilliam said. “Hopefully it will be accepted nationwide so that way there won’t be any controversy between different states or whether it should be allowed.”

“It stops the pain. I know, I have sports injuries,” said Marko Woodson, who is in favor of medical marijuana use. “When I smoke it, I am just going to say I smoke it, all my pains just goes away.”

Those who were against it or had neutral thoughts decided not to speak on camera.

According to the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Trade Association, medical cannabis sales in the U.S. last year alone exceeded $3.5 billion.

Roughly two-thirds of Americans already have access to medical cannabis programs.

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