NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Medical marijuana is once again on the table in Tennessee after State Senator Janice Bowling recently re-introduced a bill to legalize it.
Now, advocates are hoping this is the year medical cannabis becomes legalized in Tennessee.
For Purple Heart Veteran Eugene Bachman III, medical marijuana has been life-changing.
“It was pretty instant, especially the THC in medicinal marijuana,” said Bachman. “It helped me want to go out in public, want to play with my daughter. Before that, the other opioids, other medicines just made me feel not myself.”
Medical marijuana, legal in his prior home state of Colorado, helped Bachman adjust to civilian life after one tour in Iraq.
“Explosions, eight concussions,” said Bachman. “With me, it helps with anxiety, depression, my traumatic brain injury, physical pain.”
But his move to the Nashville area in 2018 was met with different state laws for cannabis.
Hemp and CBD is legal in Tennessee, but marijuana not.
The difference lies the amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes you high.
“Tennessee does have a lot of edibles, CBD, that does help, but not on the level as medicinal marijuana has and that has been a struggle,” said Bachman.
That struggle may soon come to an end thanks to Bowling’s push to legalize medical cannabis.
“Create a controlled, regulated system that is medically situated, medically centered,” said Sen. Bowling at a recent meeting about the bill.
Bachman is hopeful this time around, the bill will pass.
“I see more and more news reports on it. All of these officials, senators, congressmen are all getting behind it,” said Bachman. “I just hope they hurry up and do something about it because there are a lot of people out there who can benefit from it.”
But not all lawmakers are on board, like House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Lt. Governor Randy McNally.
Bachman said, now is the time.
“It’s for a purpose, it’s for bettering ourselves, bettering our families,” said Bachman.