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Tennessee and medical marijuana: What’s the current situation?

| Nov 21, 2016 | Drug Charges |

Numerous patients suffering from a vast array of disease conditions are benefiting from medical marijuana treatments throughout the United States. However, medical marijuana is still – for all intents and purposes – illegal in the state of Tennessee, which means that patients in our state who could benefit from the drug cannot legally gain access to it. This has driven some patients to break the law in their desperate quest for relief.

How does Tennessee medical marijuana law fall short?

Compelling evidence exists that marijuana, in its complete form, holds great value as a treatment for numerous medical conditions. However, in the state of Tennessee, the law does not allow medical patients to treat themselves with marijuana in its complete form. Instead, patients are limited to the use of cannabis oils that are rich in cannabidiol (CBD), but contain no more than 0.9% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that results in its intoxicating effect, but studies indicate THC is also necessary for marijuana to work as a successful treatment for numerous disease conditions.

What does this boil down to? Although certain Tennessee residents can legally treat themselves with cannabidiol, this oil alone is not going to help most patients. Let’s take a look at where Tennessee’s medical marijuana law falls short:

  • Patients who want access to medical marijuana need to go across the state line to illegally transport medical marijuana products back into Tennessee which is a serious violation of federal and state drug control laws.
  • Tennessee residents cannot, in most cases, purchase medical marijuana legally in other states because those states usually require residency to participate in medical marijuana programs.
  • In-state access to medical marijuana is virtually impossible in Tennessee without violating state and federal laws.
  • Numerous patients who could benefit from medical marijuana are needlessly suffering from disease conditions that could be successfully treated.

Were you arrested for using medical marijuana?

At this time, 25 states including Washington, D.C., have laws that offer patients access to medical marijuana products that contain THC. However, the state of Tennessee and the federal government continue to deny patients access to the healthful benefits of marijuana as a treatment for disease conditions.

If you have been arrested and accused of state or federal drug violations because you were trying to treat your disease conditions with medical marijuana, you will have the right to defend yourself in court. By consulting with a narcotics crimes defense lawyer, you can gain insight into the criminal charges being brought against you and potential strategies to try and reduce the threat and/or severity of punishments relating to those charges.