NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —A bill legalizing medical marijuana passed the Tennessee Senate Health and Welfare Committee yesterday, but a late amendment essentially rendered the bill fruitless.
The bill was introduced in the state Senate and House in February by a pair of medical doctors — Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro). Other similar bills have been introduced over the years and inevitably failed to garner enough support to pass.
The bill,SB 2334, passed the committee 6-3, however, Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson) added an amendment late that delay the bill's enactment until the federal government downgrades marijuana to a schedule II drug.
Watson expressed concern that a pharmacist dispensing marijuana to patients could be arrested for selling federally prohibited drugs or a doctor could be arrested for prescribing it.
The bill would have allowed residents with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana oils, tinctures, lotions, pills and suppositories. However, the plant product, vapes and edibles would not be legal.
The bill will move forward, but the amendment basically makes it ineffective as it forces the state to wait for marijuana to be legalized on a federal level before it could go into effect.