NASHVILLE, TENN. - One of the lead sponsors of a medical-marijuana bill in Tennessee withdrew the measure Tuesday after telling fellow lawmakers the legislation has been so watered down that passing it would actually harm rather than help patients.
Sen. Steve Dickerson, a Republican from Nashville who is also a medical doctor, said he worried that passing the bill as amended would only forestall the full legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee. The lawmaker told his colleagues that he's committed to the proposition that medical marijuana is a medication that helps people with many ailments.
Dickerson promised to be back next year with a more permissive bill that would allow for the growing, processing, dispensing, regulation and taxation of cannabis.
The bill was amended with the hopes that it could pass Tennessee's conservative legislation. The new version would have required patients to get a doctor's order and go out of state to get the cannabis oil. The original bill allowed for the growing, dispensing, regulating and taxation of cannabis oil inside the state of Tennessee. The amended bill also removed criminal penalties for possessing cannabis that can't be smoked for patients with certain debilitating health condition who had a doctor's order.
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