Cannabis in Tennessee

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It is illegal to use or possess the drug cannabis in Tennessee, United States,[1] with possession of even small amounts being a criminal misdemeanor, but there are limited legal allowances for non-psychoactive CBD oil as medical cannabis, and the authorities have not been able to enforce the law.

2015 legalization of CBD oil[edit]

In May 2015, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 280 into law, against his earlier opposition. The bill legalized the possession and use of marijuana to treat a limited number of severe conditions, including epilepsy. The bill has no provisions for legal sale, thus requiring patients to acquire the drug outside the state of Tennessee; possession of CBD oil without proof that it was obtained legally outside of Tennessee was a misdemeanor.[2]

Municipal decriminalization[edit]

At the start of 2015 the Tennessee chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws launched a petition to place a referendum on the November ballot for Davidson County to defund local law enforcement prosecution against possession of small amounts of marijuana.[3] The measure failed to reach the ballot, as by the 6 August deadline the movement had only collected about 4,000 of the required 6,845 signatures to get the measure onto the ballot.[4]

In 2016, both Nashville and Memphis succeeded in decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis, with Memphis reducing punishment to a $50 fine.[5]

Enforcement[edit]

In 2016 the Daily Helmsman noted that Tennessee spent $43 million in 2010 on prosecuting the 42% of their drug arrests which were for a half-ounce of marijuana or less.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tennessee considers minor reduction in harsh penalties for possession
  2. ^ Alan Frio. “Gov. Haslam signs cannabis oil bill”. WSMV Channel 4. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  3. ^ “Referendum on marijuana prosecution sought in Nashville”. Tennessean.com. 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  4. ^ Joey Garrison, The Tennessean (2015-05-18). “Marijuana push falls short in Nashville”. Wbir.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  5. ^ a b “Arkansas follows nationwide trend to legalize marijuana”. dailyhelmsman.com. Retrieved 2016-11-05.