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A measure that would shield users of medical marijuana from criminal prosecution is advancing in the state legislature.
The House Criminal Justice Committee set aside opposition from law enforcement, doctors and Governor Bill Haslam’s administration Wednesday and overwhelmingly approved a measure that both sides see as a step toward legalizing medical cannabis.
The vote on House Bill 1749 came after members heard from representatives from those groups, as well as patients like Andrea Houser of Lawrenceburg. She’s suffered from epileptic seizures for decades, but she told legislators she found relief for about five years by using marijuana illegally.
Her story seemed to make an impression on state Rep. Andrew Farmer, R-Sevierville.
“So you’re telling me, in front of this committee, truthfully — you’re not under oath, technically — that your seizures stopped for five years?” he asked. “And then once you went back to traditional prescriptions, they came back?”
Houser now uses cannabis oil with low amounts of THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes a high. Tennessee lawmakers made