GOP gubernatorial candidate Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) held a press conference this morning, which she had promised would be a “major announcement,” in which she restated her support for legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.
“Alongside two doctors at a news conference Friday, Harwell said she supports use of oils and additives, not smoking marijuana. She said she isn’t supporting recreational marijuana,” the Associated Press reported shortly after noon on Friday:
State House Speaker Beth Harwell is running a TV ad about supporting medical marijuana as she tries to separate herself from the Republican field for Tennessee governor before the Aug. 2 primary.
In the ad, Harwell says she’s the only Republican gubernatorial candidate who supports doctor-prescribed medical cannabis. The ad includes a 2015 clip of President Donald Trump saying he thinks “medical should happen.”
Harwell first indicated she was inclined to support the legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee back in August 2017, a position she restated in January.
In February, Harwell cast the tie breaking vote to move “The Medical Cannabis Act” out of a committee of the Tennessee House of Representatives, despite opposition from the law enforcement community, as The Tennessee Star reported.
That bill was subsequently withdrawn from consideration.
Harwell’s campaign sent out this tweet during this morning’s press conference:
We cannot wait for a federal bureaucracy to act on medical cannabis. Today, I held a press conference on the issue, perhaps the one which impacts Tennesseans the most. End the suffering. #PromisesMadePromisesKept #harwellforgovernor 🐘 pic.twitter.com/MTzJbANRgC
— Beth Harwell (@BethHarwellTN) July 20, 2018
With one week and six days until the August 2 primary election, most polls show that Harwell remains in a distant fourth place in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, well behind Randy Boyd, Bill Lee, and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06).