House bill

House bill adds quadriplegia for medical cannabis use in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Lawmakers are trying to expand the use of medical cannabis in Tennessee, with one saying he can personally benefit from its use.

House Bill 1747 adds quadriplegia as a qualifying medical condition for legal possession of cannabis oil.

“Members, I live with this diagnosis every day,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-District 60) whose district includes Davidson County’s Old Hickory community.

The proposed legislation allows the Medical Cannabis Commission to study the effects and give legal possession of cannabis oil to quadriplegic Tennesseeians. Current diagnoses on the list include Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, cancer, epilepsy, HIV and sickle cell disease.

Rep. Jernigan said adding quadriplegia to the list can help with more common side effects such as severe muscle spasms, chronic pain, overactive bladders and insomnia.

“I sit in a chair sometimes 12 to 14 hours a day. At that time, I can get severe muscle spasms which are very stressful on my body and lead to insomnia,” Jernigan said. “I have exhausted all the conventional treatments that exist. I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t get high. This is not the intention of this. The application of the law is postponed on this bill and with this explanation, Mr. Chairman, I renew my motion.

The invoice passed the House Monday evening by a vote of 77 to 14. It is scheduled to be discussed by state senators on Wednesday.

“Representative, I want to thank you for bringing the bill. Of all the men on this floor, you are perhaps the bravest man on this floor for all that you have had to endure and we thank you for testify and tell us the kind of challenges,” Rep. Joe Towns, Jr. (D-Memphis) said as he addressed the House Monday. “A lot of us have fallen behind on this issue. and I think it’s time we really allowed medical marijuana to be used for the benefit of our people in this state of Tennessee.