NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Lawmakers are trying to expand the use of medical cannabis in Tennessee with one saying he can personally benefit from its use.
House Bill1747 adds quadriplegia as a qualifying medical condition for the lawful possession of cannabis oil.
“Members, I live with this diagnosis every day,” said the bill’s sponsor Representative Darren Jernigan (D-District 60) whose district includes the Old Hickory community of Davidson County.
The proposed legislation allows the Medical Cannabis Commission to study the effects and give lawful possession of cannabis oil to Tennesseeans who are quadriplegic. The current diagnoses on the list include Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, epilepsy, HIV, and sickle cell.
Representative Jernigan said adding quadriplegia to the list can help with the most common side effects like severe muscle spasms, chronic pain, overactive bladders, and insomnia.
“I’m in a chair sometimes 12 to 14 hours a day. At that point in time I can receive severe muscle spasms that are really stressful on my body that leads to insomnia,” Jernigan said. “I’ve exhausted all conventional treatments that are out there. I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t get high. That’s not the intention of this. Law enforcement is deferred on this bill and with that explanation Mr. Speaker I renew my motion.”
The bill passed the house late Monday by a vote of 77 to 14. It’s scheduled to be discussed by state senators Wednesday.
“Representative I want to thank you for bringing the bill. Out of all the men on this floor, you may be the most courageous man on this floor for all that you had to endure and we appreciate you testifying and telling us the kind of challenges,” said Representative Joe Towns, Jr. (D-Memphis) as he addressed the House Monday. “Many of us have been behind on this issue and I think it’s time that we really really allow medical marijuana to be something that is utilized for the benefit of our people in this state of Tennessee.