Tennessee News

Country Music Television Embraces Marijuana

During the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Willie Nelson, a country music legend and well-known marijuana supporter, performed his song, “Roll Me up,” a marijuana ballad whose refrain is “roll me up and smoke me when I die,” a clear allusion to marijuana. Joining Mr. Nelson in singing verses of the popular song were some of country music’s best and brightest: Darius Rucker, Toby Keith, Zac Brown, and Jamey Johnson.

It is refreshing to see mainstream musicians that are thought to cater to a relatively conservative fan base singing in support of marijuana. More than that, by singing “Roll Me Up” in a venue that is seen by so many and considered family-friendly, these artists are removing the stigma from the marijuana discourse. They are not debating the use or legality of the drug; they are simply singing a song about marijuana, taking for granted that the subject matter is perfectly… Continue reading

NORML Tennessee Chapter Monthly Meeting

Elected President, 2 VP’s and a treasurer. Our board of director’s is:

  • Doak Patton – President
  • Justin Morrison – Vice President
  • Brett Andrews – Secretary
  • Carla Chamberlain – Treasurer

Other discussions were about funding and design of a billboard downtown promoting Medical Marijuana and NORML.

Other ideas concerning fundraising were discussed…more to follow as well.

There was a guest from East Tennessee drive all the way here to support our chapter. He had some good ideas and a few good stories. Suggestions were passed about a Chattanooga chapter.

There was quite an age mix at the meeting so it was clear that this is an issue for all ages.

NORML will have a monthly meeting on the 1st Sunday at 2pm at the Sunset Grill. It will be posted with details and a Google map, on the Calendar button above. Open to all.

Compassion for the sick, or indignity for the poor?

Ask Gov. Haslam to veto welfare drug testing bill.

Today we found out why Tennessee legislators couldn’t find time to pass a medical marijuana law: they were too busy insulting the poor. Two weeks ago, a hearing on a medical marijuana bill never got started because no Democrat showed up for the hearing, and Republicans in the room refused to call a motion to discuss it.

Yesterday though, on the last day of session when time is scarce and important bills are facing last minute deadlines, your elected officials found time to debate and pass a bill that forces Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to pee in a cup and pay to do that themselves. Apparently, during the debate, no one bothered to discuss the fact that bills like SB 2580 have been found unconstitutional or that they cost more money than they save.

Please ask Gov.… Continue reading

Medical marijuana bill on the move in Nashville

Exciting news: there are not one, but two hearings on medical marijuana in Tennessee today! In the House of Representatives, Rep. Jeanne Richardson’s bill, HB 294, was approved by a subcommittee of the Health and Human Resources Committee last week, and today it goes before the full panel for a hearing, and hopefully a vote. The bill has been amended to correct technical concerns and would now create an effective medical marijuana law.

Please ask your legislators to support this compassionate legislation.

Meanwhile, the Senate Government Operations Committee has scheduled a hearing on SB 251, the Senate companion to HB 294, sponsored by Sen. Beverly Marrero. While the progress in the House is nice, it’s not unprecedented — a study bill was approved in committee two years ago. A committee vote in the Tennessee Senate, however, would be a first.

There’s growing legitimacy behind this year’s push. Constance… Continue reading

Medical marijuana bill advances in Tennessee

In somewhat of a surprise, a medical marijuana bill was approved in a Tennessee legislative subcommittee by a voice vote yesterday. Next up is a vote in the full House Health and Human Resources Committee.

Please ask your legislators to support HB 294.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis), told reporters that the bill envisions perhaps the strictest medical marijuana program in the country. In fact, it may be a bit too strict. By requiring physicians to “prescribe” marijuana, the bill would not be workable under federal law.

There’s still time to amend the bill, though. For now, the important thing is the attention yesterday’s vote received. News outlets throughout the state reported on the bill’s progress, sending a clear message that medical marijuana is a legitimate topic for discussion in the Volunteer State. Please keep that discussion going by emailing your legislators now.

Thanks for all… Continue reading

Medical marijuana bills languish in Tennessee legislative committee

In 2010, the Tennessee Legislature finally got serious about a medical marijuana bill introduced by Sen. Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) and Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis). Not only did the bill get a hearing in committee, but the committee actually passed it after it was amended from a full medical marijuana bill to a study bill. This left advocates excited for the opportunity to build on their progress.

You can understand why, then, those activists have been disappointed with the legislature’s inaction since. After introduction of House and Senate legislation aimed at allowing seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana, both bills have sat idly in committee with no hearing on the horizon for either. Unfortunately, with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslem opposed to medical marijuana, the legislature apparently doesn’t think it’s worth taking the time to try and relieve the suffering of Tennessee residents with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other… Continue reading