The move to legalize marijuana is alive and well in Tennessee, and legislators are thinking ahead. One measure introduced would permit anyone with a medical card from another state to possess marijuana.

The bill, SB 260/HB 234 was introduced by Democrat Sen. Sara Kyle and Republican Rep. Gloria Johnson. It specifically states that any Tennessee resident that has acquired a medical card from another state could have up to 1/2 ounce of marijuana in their possession legally in Tennessee.

This bill was one of three introduced on Jan 29. It also states that someone with an out-of-state marijuana card would be able to give marijuana to another individual, provided that individual also holds an ID card from another state that permits marijuana possession.

Rep. Johnson noted that the prevailing opinion in the U.S. is that Americans should be able to have marijuana prescribed as a medical treatment. For a state like Tennessee, where tourism is a big part of the economy, it becomes necessary to consider protections for visitors. Rep. Johnson noted it is necessary to make sure that those who visit and have marijuana with them as a medical treatment will not face penalties.

Rep. Johnson has also sponsored other bills related to medical marijuana in the past, and her opinion is that current measures are not working. Moves to legalize marijuana have her support, despite the fact they are facing significant opposition from other legislators in the state.

Another bill recently introduced by Johnson would legalize possession of an ounce of marijuana for Tennessee residents with the proper medical card. This would allow patients to have access to the efficient medical treatment for longer periods between visits to a dispensary or other legal vendor of marijuana. This can improve quality of life and allow the patient more freedom to accomplish daily activities.

As with many other legislators who support marijuana legalization, Rep. Johnson has personal experience in her past that influences her desire to see constituents have access to marijuana as a medical treatment. Her father had multiple sclerosis, and Johnson feels he may have benefited from marijuana as a medical treatment.