If Beth Harwell is elected as governor of Tennessee, medical marijuana could become a reality.
Legal medical marijuana could expand to a new state, and it is not in a liberal stronghold somewhere out west or in the northeast. Tennessee Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell, is seeking to become the state’s next governor and would like to see medical marijuana legalized.
Harwell has a sister who lives in Colorado and experienced significant back pain due to a yoga injury.
“She was prescribed opioids,” said Harwell according to CBS 8 in Knoxville. “She would need to be on them for 12 weeks. She was in a body brace. She really realized after a couple weeks of action she would be addicted if she didn’t take an alternative course of action.”
Harwell’s sister chose to medicate with marijuana and seemed fearful of the impact her prescribed opioids could do over the long-term.
“She didn’t smoke it,” Harwell said. “Just put a little on her tongue and mixed it with coconut oil. It really got her through some tough days so she’s not on any medicine right now. So it is an alternative for some folks.”
Harwell claimed that her sister used it for several days and is currently living without pain. But Harwell knows it can take some time to convince some in Tennessee about the benefits of medical marijuana.
“This will take a while to educate folks. Then, we will get the medical community involved to make sure we’re doing the right thing by the people in Tennessee.”
A bill to legalize medical marijuana did not survive the last legislative session in Tennessee. Harwell has ordered a task force to examine the effects of medical marijuana. State Representative Jeremy Faison plans to reintroduce a similar bill next year.
Harwell has stated that she is only seeking to legalize medical marijuana and has no intention of advocating for recreational use.
Currently, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.