State Senator Steve Dickerson Withdraws Medical Marijuana Measure, For Now

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State Senator Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville), who sponsored this year’s controversial 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.

Dickerson, a physician, told the Associated Press that he worried that passing and amended version of his bill would preempt the passage of a more comprehensive piece of legislation, and that he’s committed to the idea that the medicinal properties marijuana are beneficial to some patients with certain serious ailments.

“I fear that if we passed the watered-down version of this bill it would essentially forestall any efforts to have a much more widespread, much more thoughtful legislative construct for several years,” he told the news agency.

The AP reported that 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.”

Dickerson’s original bill allowed growing, dispensing, regulating and taxation of cannabis oil inside the state of Tennessee. However, it was amended to require patients to get a doctor’s order and go out of state to get the cannabis oil. It 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.

“I look forward to continued debate and discussion on this issue in the years to come. I am confident this issue will remain a contentious one,” McNally said.

Dickerson thanked the House sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), who tweeted:

“Sometimes you get to plant. Sometimes you get to water. Sometimes you get to harvest,” he tweeted. “I would love to be able to harvest but for right now, the TN Senate only wants planting and watering. Medical Cannabis is coming to Murica, regardless of the naysayers.”

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