With five out of seven candidates tentatively supporting the legalization of medical marijuana for qualified patients, Tennessee’s voters remain optimistic regarding access to effective medical treatments as they look forward to the 2018 gubernatorial race.
Though none of the seven candidates support recreational consumption, the majority of potential governors believe Tennessee should contemplate legalizing cannabis for patients suffering from a host of debilitating health issues.
An issue that crosses the political divide, “five of the seven candidates – including three of the Republicans – say there may be circumstances under which Tennesseans ought to be allowed to possess and use marijuana,” according to Nashville Public Radio.
On the ‘Pro’ side of the medical marijuana issue, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D), House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D), Randy Boyd (R), Mae Beavers (R), and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) have cautiously issued statements of support for legalizing medicinal cannabis in Tennessee.
Simpatico with their electorate, those candidates who support medical marijuana stand the best chance of winning the highest office in the state come Nov. 6, 2018, according to a survey conducted by WKRN News.
Published on Sept. 21, a Tennessee survey has so far polled 4,268 respondents, of which 93.56 percent were supportive of legalizing medical marijuana in the state of Tennessee, and only 5.3 percent – or 229 votes – said no to legalizing the medicinal herb.
Nashville’s Former Mayor Karl Dean Explained His Support:
“When the medical profession says there’s an identifiable, concrete reason why this could help with someone’s care, I think that should be permitted,” Dean noted. “I certainly would not want the state, if there’s medical evidence and the medical profession supporting it, standing in the way of people receiving relief from their suffering.”
Okay, no “suffering,” but how about reducing Tennessee’s opioid-related overdoses?
Medical marijuana has been shown to curb opioid-related deaths by as much as 33 percent in states that have granted legal access to the medicinal plant — Tennessee could potentially save thousands of lives by simply legalizing medical marijuana.
A September report by the Tennessee Department of Health indicates 1,631 residents overdosed during 2016 – of which 1,186 deaths were attributed to opioids.
Potentially saving 391 lives annually (math: 1,186×33%), the legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee could theoretically end the “suffering” for hundreds of families annually.