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Fear and Avoidance: Tennessee Medical Marijuana Dies Because Lawmakers Are ‘Scared’
Though the notion of giving sick people their choice of medicine is a winner in every poll and is at last taking hold in the South, there will be no medical marijuana in Tennessee this year. Why ever not?
The reason is simple, according to Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Faison. It’s because his fellow lawmakers are scared.
Faison was sponsor of a bill that would have seen Tennessee lawmakers make a medical marijuana law themselves and not foist the difficult question onto voters, as nearly ever other state has done. Nothing wrong with direct democracy: Voter initiative was how medical marijuana first came to pass in California, and the voter initiative is also how adult-use marijuana legalization is coming about. However, making laws that reflect popular support is something elected lawmakers are supposed to do—you could even say it’s their core function.
These Are the Best—and the Worst—States for Medical Marijuana
On paper, medical marijuana is more common in America than firearms.
Forty-four states have medical cannabis laws on the books—which means that more than 300 million Americans can access legal marijuana in some form if they or a family member is sick. That’s 85 percent of the country.
Compare that to the owners of the country’s 300 million guns—which are stashed in only one-third of households—and it seems the U.S. should be in the running for mellowest place on earth, rather than the best-armed and most-incarcerated.
And since deaths related to opiate abuse are reduced by as much as 25 percent where medical-marijuana is available, America should also expect the heroin epidemic to be ending any day now.
Sounds great! But for now, this is all abstract theory.
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