Governor Signs Bill Repealing Marijuana Decriminalization Laws

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Governor Bill Haslam has signed a bill which repeals marijuana decriminalization laws in Nashville and Memphis.

The governor signed House Bill 0173 on Wednesday.

The bill said "state government law preempts local government enactments with respect to the regulation of and appropriate sanctions for conduct involving drugs and other similar substances."

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It passed the House on March 23 with a vote of 65-28. Then with a vote of 26-5, the bill passed the Senate on March 27.

The bill was sponsored by Representative William Lamberth, a Republican from Cottontown. It passed over the objections of lawmakers in Memphis and Nashville who thought the state should stop interfering with their cities.

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Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell, of Nashville, voted against the measure.

Nashville and Memphis passed laws that would give police the discretion to allow people caught with a small amount of marijuana to face a civil penalty instead of a misdemeanor charge.

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