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At Least One Chattanooga Lawmaker Open to Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Support Concept

At Least One Chattanooga Lawmaker Open to Medical Marijuana

Amid the federal push to reclassify marijuana, one Hamilton County legislative delegation member is advocating for the medical uses of the substance. With President Joe Biden endorsing a policy to broaden access to marijuana and reducing legal barriers for its medical use, the prospects for medical marijuana are taking a positive turn.

Positive Reactions to the Reclassification

Leadership within the state legislature has already shown enthusiasm for this proposed deviation. Tennessee House Republican Caucus Chair, Jeremy Faison, hailed the move as a crucial step that could pave the way for vital clinical research and universities within the state to commence studies about the plant.

“I think this is an excellent move on the federal government’s part. It needs to happen,” Faison asserted. He mentioned that the possibility of enabling extensive research on cannabis could verify anecdotal evidence which suggests it as a viable option for the treatment of sick individuals. The timeline of these potential changes, however, remains uncertain.

The Legal Complications

Presently, marijuana is federally illegal, its placement alongside potent drugs like heroin. Despite an increase in the number of dispensaries in places like California, Colorado, and even Chattanooga, the legal status and effects of the drug raise considerable concern.

As a scheduled I drug, marijuana is, in part, defined as having “no currently accepted medical use,” according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. This classification has stalled extensive clinical trials that could potentially outline the drug’s medical uses and harmful effects, an essential process required by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for medications.

Emerging Support from the Delegation

The Chattanooga-based delegation also appears to harbor support for the changes. State Rep. Greg Martin, while expressing his support, marked the reclassification as a “step in the right direction.”

“If cannabis can help safely ease Tennesseans’ pain and have effective medical uses, it should be available under the directive and care of doctors,” the official statement read.

Existing Concerns and Challenges

While there’s prevailing support, others within the delegation harbour concerns about potential recreational marijuana use growing rampant in the state. Many fear that the supposed health benefits may lead to serious addictions, nullifying any benefits from potential tax revenue.

Other challenges include the costs associated with setting up regulations, committees, and organizations. The state lawmakers worried about these unforeseen expenses that could potentially consume expected profits.

“If you want to go into recreational marijuana, then there are a lot of regulations that have to be put in place, and regulation costs a lot of money,” State Sen. Bo Watson cautioned.

Next Steps

Despite the concerns and challenges ahead, the shift towards redefining marijuana’s legal status is already underway. The continued conversations could eventually result in a comprehensive regulatory structure that could allow cannabis to be used for medical purposes while preventing misuse. Much of it remains to be seen and depends on the political will and consensus among lawmakers as the state marches forward to the path of possible legalization.

Source: HERE News Network

Author: HERE News

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