As opinions about marijuana are changing across the country, so are laws. Several states have legalized some form of medical or recreational use of cannabis, but where does Tennessee stand? You may be wondering what the state laws say and what the future holds for marijuana laws in Tennessee.
If you are wondering whether any type of marijuana consumption is legal or decriminalized in the state, read below for a detailed analysis and an outlook on potential changes in the state laws.
Short-lived decriminalization in Nashville and Memphis
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the two biggest cities in the state decriminalized marijuana in 2016. These ordinances allowed police officers at their discretion to charge civil infractions to people who possessed a small amount of the drug. However, Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that repealed these ordinances, so simple possession is a misdemeanor statewide again.
Momentum for medical marijuana
As of right now, only a low-THC cannabis oil is legal for certain patients, but the patients must legally purchase the oil out of state. But the prospects for a more comprehensive medical marijuana law are looking bright. The Tennessee Legislature formed a committee to study and discuss medical marijuana. While no laws are in the works yet, there is a possibility of something happening in 2018. After all, 75 percent of Tennesseans approve of giving severely sick patients access to medical marijuana.
Current laws for recreational use
Possession of any amount of recreational cannabis counts as a misdemeanor, with maximum punishments of a $2,500 fine and one year in jail. The cultivation and sale of marijuana are both felonies, with penalties increasing depending on the amount of the drug involved.
While it seems like every state is making drastic changes to marijuana laws, Tennessee is still strict when it comes to the drug. However, things may change as the legislature discusses medical marijuana again next year. But until anything changes, marijuana remains illegal.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Tennessee, obtain representation from a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.