VOL. 133 | NO. 28 | Wednesday, February 7, 2018
By Sam Stockard Updated 2:48PM
House Speaker Beth Harwell is supporting medical marijuana legislation, saying she believes Tennesseans “deserve” an option to dangerous opioids.
The Nashville Republican who is running for governor after some 30 years in the House of Representative said she plans to back a bill by Rep. Jeremy Faison legalizing medical marijuana.
Faison wants Tennessee to join 30 states that allow medical marijuana. The Virginia General Assembly, for instance, recently passed legislation allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis oils to patients and in 2017 adopted legislation allowing the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis oils for people suffering from epilepsy.
“I think Tennesseans deserve it,” Harwell said as she finished touring the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at Middle Tennessee State University. “I think without a doubt those states that have this as an option, their opioids are down 25 percent, pain prescriptions are down 23 percent. It’s not the cure-all, it’s not the complete answer, but I think it’s a part of it.”