Four states will legalize and tax marijuana sales as of Tuesday evening. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all passed measures on the 2020 ballot to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Eleven other states already have legislation for recreational marijuana use in place.
Arizona and South Dakota plan on using the tax money from the sales of this substance to benefit community colleges, rescue departments, and other organizations like typical taxpayer funding. As this change evolves, Tennessee residents are starting to question why the state isn’t modifying its policy to gain benefits from this product from a medical, recreational, and financial perspective.
“I think it’s dumb that people suffering from MS or Parkinson’s might need the regular pain relief that medical marijuana could provide,” said Caroline Jansing, a senior student at the University of Tennessee. “I would lean on the side of caution and regulation for recreational use though.”
This trend of wanting marijuana legal and available to the public for recreational or medical purposes has been growing among millennials and Gen Z-ers across the states, although Tennessee has yet to adjust their stance to fit modern times.
Tennessee’s Bureau of Investigation says it “is opposed to the legalization of marijuana in any form outside of the FDA and DEA approval process utilized for all other forms of medicine,” according to its website.
TBI is referencing Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD hemp flower] oral solution approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of seizures correlating to severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome.
As Tennessee keeps recreational marijuana use illegal, health care workers have started to question why its countless benefits aren’t being used as the answer they need to provide palliative care for their patients.
“For medical use, I am 100% for it (marijuana). Because at some point, there is just a pain,” said Katie Proctor, a senior nursing student at the University of Tennessee. “I have seen patients that are on their last legs, and there’s only so much the medical world can do. Then it’s just about Palliative care and making them comfortable. If there is a non-addictive drug, like marijuana compared to opioids, I would push to provide that option.”
Tennessee health care providers are allowed by law to provide patients with cannabis products that have less than 0.3% THC within their products. This active ingredient is a relief to some of the most complicated medical cases today.
Proctor added that if the drug was used recreationally, the federal and state government would need to put statues in place similar to ingesting alcohol, such as restrictions on driving under the influence.
“If you legalize marijuana, then there are fewer chances of someone unintentionally overdosing or ingesting substances within that marijuana that could have been cut within a third party dealer.”