Home Culture Pro-Medical Marijuana Tennessee Republican Delivers on a Promise

Pro-Medical Marijuana Tennessee Republican Delivers on a Promise


Thousands of marijuana refugees have fled their hometowns for states with legal medical marijuana, and one politician from Tennessee is on a mission to bring them back.

In November, Tennessee State Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) told The Marijuana Times, “I want to bring a full medical marijuana, and since we don’t have state ballot initiatives, I’ll take it straight through the general assembly.”

He’s delivering on that promise with the recent introduction of that medical marijuana bill in the Volunteer State.

No path for adult-use

In an interview with The Marijuana Times at the MJforMD’s medical conference, Faison stood up to all his naysayers, discouraging people who perpetuate the myth that he’s trying to introduce a gateway drug to a state already so badly crippled by the opiate epidemic. “I think science and history will prove that alcohol is a gateway,” he said.

That said, he’s a medical guy and absolutely does not agree with recreational use of the drug.

The conservative, NRA endorsed, follower of The Bible isn’t on board with the recreational market, to say the least. Faison told the Tennessean, that his three-day trip to Colorado led him to believe that state will soon consider repealing its recreational use laws.

Opioid epidemic in Tennessee

There are more opioid prescriptions than there are people in Tennessee.

It places Tennessee second in the nation, behind only Alabama in prescriptions of the drugs, according to IMS Health data.

As the American Journal of Public Health reports, cannabis can be a savior for those hooked on opioids. A recent study by the journal reveals fewer people use opioids in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The legislation

The measure includes a list of qualifying conditions, including cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures and Alzheimer’s. Most medical advocates are not in favor of qualifying conditions; however, they will be pleased to hear that the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission would be able to add conditions based on doctors’ findings.

In a prior interview, Faison also said he would do his best to make sure that grows and manufacturing would be in distressed counties, to bring employment to those areas.

  • This bill allows for 50 grow operations statewide, the first 15 of which would be in such areas of the state.
  • Patients would need to spend $35 on a medical card, and medical practitioners able to prescribe medication would have to get a special license to prescribe medical cannabis.  
  • Each cultivation center would have one dispensary at the grow house and two storefronts, so 150 dispensaries throughout the state.

Faison, along with Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville), are standing up for the federally illegal medicine in their Republican-dominated legislature. For them, it’s a states’ rights issue and they want the right for their state to choose medical marijuana.

“At its heart, I really do think this is a very Republican, conservative bill,” Dickerson said. “I know that’s a little counterintuitive, but it gets the government out of our lives,” said State Sen. Dickerson.

“We would be the tipping point of medical marijuana in the South,” added Faison.


  1. This is great as long as chronic pain was included. I disagree with him about recreational use. There is nothing wrong with that. It is safer than alcohol. There is very little chance of abuse. I do not see any state resending its recreational laws but I do see more state making recreational use legal. I also see Trump removing it from the Scheduled 1 list making it possible for states to make it legal.

  2. My son is a severe burn victim . He was in the hospital for 9 months on some of the strongest pain medications available . After leaving the hospital with all those pain meds and trying to live a normal life he used marijuana to stop the pain meds. He is not damaging his kidneys and liver and can function, unlike with pain RX .
    I have to think that maybe law makers are only fighting legalization due to $$$ generating from fines and arrest ????

  3. What did he see in 3 days in Colorado that made him decide that recreational use should end? I’ve been there twice already. I took the 420 Tour, enjoyed many different strains of marijuana and edibles, and interviewed people who lived there. So far, nobody voiced a problem with recreational use at all and further said that they tried it and couldnt believe it was ever illegal. Teen use has actually gone down since it was legalized. So what is the problem?

  4. Omg I’m crying real tears of joy! No 1 man or woman should be able to tell another man or woman what’s good for them when we have McDonald’s on every damn street corner!! Come on man end this prohibition

  5. I pray they do legalize it hiding is so stupid when its for our health problems my 10 yr old son has cerebral palsy and both of us have epilepsy if i go without it and take 2,000 mlgs of kepra i have seizures until i smoke again but if i take my meds and smoke im ok i suffer not being able to have 2 of my children due to seizures and it affects my health worse i can’t live alone therefore i had to give my home up they need to try it at least

  6. Been treated for over 15 yrs. as a chronic pain patient.
    Since pain meds have been regulated to lower dosages as
    required by the state the hospital affiliated pain clinic I have been going to has dropped their program and their patients. I went through months of tapering, severe withdrawals and cannabinoid oil and vaping has been a remarkable alternative, without side effects ! I no longer take any opioid medication and I can testify to the positive results of cannabis. Do I think the state would benefit ? Absolutely and so would the many chronic pain sufferers. Legalization needs to happen and hopefully the right group of people can move this forward.

  7. I’ve been addicted to opiates for many years due to a knee surgery. I’ve struggled with trying to get off them for a long time. I’ve tried the methadone clinic, which is a government legal drug dealer that doesn’t help you but gets you more addicted and more people have died from than cannabis, but its legal in Tennessee and many other States. Cannabis is the only thing that helps keep me from wanting, needing opiates. If you go to a methadone clinic and use cannabis to try and get off methadone, they punish you. The government and methadone clinics knows cannabis can help you get off methadone. I believe its one of the reasons Tennessee doesn’t want cannabis legal. Tennessee is ranked number 2 in the nation for opiate prescriptions and I live in a county that’s ranked 39th in unemployment. The county beside us, Lake co. Is ranked number 1 in unemployment. 1,451 people have lost their lives to opiate prescriptions overdose. I don’t want to be one of them. Please legalize medical Cannabis.

  8. The US should be sued for stupidity. Legalize alcohol and cigarettes, but the POT that has been prescribed for my husband who has Lymphoma should not be legal. We need to move BACK to Ct., where we were and where NOW they are going to make it recreational. We wanted to live in this beautiful state of Tn., but honestly my husband needs the oil. So if they don’t hurry up we will be selling and leaving the state.