Hear the radio version of this story.
Tennesseans have softened their opposition to medical marijuana in recent years, and the candidates for governor reflect that change in public opinion.
Although none is calling to legalize cannabis outright, several say the state should consider allowing it for people who have serious health issues.
It may be one of the few questions that does not break down along party lines, so much as whether the candidates think medical marijuana truly has benefits. Five of the seven candidates — including three of the Republicans — say their may be circumstances under which Tennesseans ought to be allowed to possess and use marijuana.
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat, is one who believes that there may be some benefits.
“When the medical profession says there’s an identifiable, concrete reason why this could help with someone’s care, I think that should be permitted,” he says. “I certainly would not want the state, if there’s medical evidence and the medical profession supporting it, standing in the way of people receiving relief