Marijuana legalization bills pitched in Tennessee

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Marijuana legalization bills in various forms have been introduced in Tennessee’s state Legislature, with lawmakers beginning to feel the pressure to say yes to medical marijuana.

The new bills come in wake of neighboring Mississippi recently becoming the third state in the Deep South to legalize a commercial medical marijuana market. That market could launch before the end of the year.

State Rep. Jason Powell, a Nashville Democrat, introduced a bill that would create a medical cannabis program, according to Nashville TV station WKRN.

He said that he is responding to public sentiment supporting MMJ.

Fellow Democratic Rep. Bob Freeman has introduced a bill that would completely legalize marijuana.

It’s unclear how much traction even the medical cannabis bill will get.

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Efforts last year to decriminalize marijuana failed, and Republicans are in a solid majority in both the state House of Representatives and the Senate.

There is one bipartisan bill in play, according to WKRN, but that measure would represent only an incremental step toward legalization by asking Tennessee voters on the fall 2022 ballot for their opinions about marijuana.