Prescriptions for medical marijuana are available in 29 states plus the District of Columbia. A medical prescription for marijuana is not allowed under Tennessee law. I posted about the legality of possessing marijuana purchased in a state that legalized the sale of marijuana earlier this week. It made me wonder if a valid prescription for marijuana for medical reasons in another state would make possessing marijuana legal in Tennessee.
Let's take a look at what Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-418 tells us. It is provides in part:
39-17-418. Simple possession or casual exchange.
(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of professional practice.
Read the last line. if it was obtained pursuant to a valid prescription or order from a practitioner. Since 29 states permit medical marijuana, a petitioner has to issue a prescription. Last time I was at Venice Beach, California, there were booths set up to assist you in getting a prescription. Once a prescription is issued in another state, does the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution come into play? I have not done any major research on the issue but it appears to have some authority.
Warning. Do not take this blog post as permission to go get a medical marijuana prescription and bring it back to Nashville. I just read the statute the other day and discovered this exception. It would be an interesting case to handle in court one day.