VOL. 133 | NO. 4 | Thursday, January 4, 2018
View From the Hill
By Sam Stockard Updated 2:45PM
Heading into the 2018 legislative session, Rep. Jeremy Faison is looking to send a message about his medical marijuana bill: Tennessee won’t open the door to recreational pot without General Assembly action.
“The No. 1 thing I hear people are frustrated about with me is they just think this is the gateway to legalize marijuana,” Faison says.
The Cosby Republican from the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee admits he’s “struggling” to make lawmakers understand states with recreational marijuana adopted it through ballot initiatives in which people showed they “wanted it and demanded it.”
Tennessee, though, doesn’t have ballot initiatives. It does allow constitutional amendments, which would require approval by two consecutive general assemblies and a gubernatorial race in which a majority of those voting in that election would have to support the measure. Otherwise, the Legislature would have to approve recreational marijuana on its own.
“My whole thought on that is it’s not going to happen