Lawmakers in Tennessee have given final approval to an extremely limited medical marijuana bill that will allow cannabis oil to treat seizures.
Senate Bill 280, along with an identical House bill, passed both chambers unanimously this week and now head to Governor Haslam’s desk for his signature. Once signed the bill will decriminalize CBD medical marijuana oil for a very small segment of potential patients – specifically, those who suffer from intractable seizures.
In order for a patient or caregiver to legally possess CBD oil the following conditions must be met:
- The bottle containing the oil is labeled by the manufacturer as containing cannabidiol in an amount less than 0.9 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol; and
- The person in possession of the oil retains:
(A) Proof of the legal order or recommendation from the issuing state; and
(B) Proof that the person or the person’s immediate family member has been diagnosed with intractable seizures by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine who is licensed to practice medicine in the state of Tennessee;
CBD Oil: A foot in the door
Though CBD oil laws that have been instituted in states like South Carolina, Georgia and now Tennessee provide little benefit to the vast majority of patients that could be treated with medical marijuana (a number potentially in the millions), many patients, caregivers and activists see these “MMJ 2.0” laws as the beginning of a discussion on the benefits of medical marijuana, not defeat. If we were climbing a rock wall, these acknowledgements by state governments in the south that marijuana actually is medicine are new footholds opening before our very eyes. The horse is out of the barn and it is up to us to take the next step.
Let us grow!
Far from medical marijuana legalization, Tennessee is simply removing criminal penalties (decriminalizing) for qualified patients who posses CBD oil, they are not legalizing a system for producing and regulating medical marijuana grown in-state. Like Georgia, Tennessee lawmakers have thrown a bone to the increasingly-vocal medical marijuana crowd, but in doing so they have set their citizens up for breaking the law in other states as well as federal law. Even though the new law says CBD oil must be obtained legally in another state, that is impossible to do since it is illegal to purchase medical marijuana (registered patient or not) with the intention of taking it out-of-state.
It is time for our lawmakers to get out of the way and let patients grow their own medicine. From Parkinson’s Disease to Crohn’s to Fibromyalgia, the vast majority of medical marijuana patients could treat themselves for literally pennies per day, simply by growing their own perfectly-safe medicine in their own yard. Or for a modest investment, a patient can buy all of his grow supplies on Amazon and produce enough medicine to treat his or her condition in a spare closet. Online seed banks, like Royalqueenseeds, are ubiquitous and most ship from Europe to anywhere in the world. Once the marijuana has been grown and harvested there are literally a thousand and one (if not more) ways to ingest it, most of which can be accomplished with supplies purchased at your local grocery store or health food store.
CBD decriminalization laws are a start. It is now our responsibility to pick up the agenda that the politicians think is finished and push it forward until all patients have safe, legal access to this life-saving medicine.