Editorial Board • Yesterday at 12:00 PM
A committee of the Tennessee General Assembly is prepared to recommend that next year, lawmakers should legalize medical marijuana, which would make Tennessee the 30th state to do so. But the legislature shouldn’t stop there. It should join the 22 states which in part or whole have decriminalized marijuana.
The continued criminalization of marijuana is costing the nation billions of dollars annually to no good purpose, wrecking lives, and wasting the time of law enforcement officers and clogging our court system.
It drives an underground economy that generates all manner of criminal activity and puts otherwise law-abiding citizens in prison and makes them felons for possessing small amounts of a plant material that study after study has proven to be no more dangerous than alcohol.
The committee has spent three months researching the viability of legalizing medicinal marijuana and has all but finished drafting legislation for the 2018 session that would legalize cannabis in certain forms for medicinal purposes. All well and good. But the legislature doesn’t need a committee to