House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally formed a committee to study the potential impacts of legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.
The committee will be chaired by Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, and Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, who has been a staunch advocate for medical marijuana in the Volunteer State.
Speaker Harwell has recently said she is "open" to considering a law allowing medical marijuana in Tennessee and has launched a House task force to fight the state's ongoing opioid crisis.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that states with medical marijuana laws are associated with a significant reduction in mortality from opioid abuse; these states saw a 25% reduction in opioid overdose deaths, compared to states without such laws.
[caption id="attachment_6333" align="alignleft" width="210"] Rep. Jeff Irwin[/caption]
Michigan Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana in Michigan could result in a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 . House Bill 4623 would re-label the offense as a civil infraction punishable by a fine based on whether it was a repeat offense.
[caption id="attachment_6334" align="alignright" width="171"] Rep. Mike Shirkey[/caption]
"We know, and the people here in Michigan know, that marijuana prohibition is not working," Rep. Irwin said today during a press conference at the state Capitol, where he was joined by the bill’s Republican co-sponsors, Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville).
"This is the right time to have this debate in Michigan," said Rep. Shirkey. "We're using a lot of money, energy and resources in Michigan and across the nation to accomplish something we've failed at."
If you live in Michigan, please ask your legislators to support marijuana decriminalization!