Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), co-sponsor of legislation to allow Tennesseans to receive medical cannabis under the care of a physician and pharmacist, expressed her continued support for the medical benefits it will provide. Bowling made the statement after testimony critical of the bill was heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee from law enforcement officials.
"This legislation is about arming doctors and patients with an effective tool to treat a range of medical conditions and increase Tennesseans' quality of life to successfully manage pain without the use of opioids," said Sen. Bowling. "Opioids are highly addictive and are deadly. We were not in the committee to talk about the marijuana industry. We were there to present a bill on medical cannabis that will bring positive, life-altering treatment to people who are suffering. For them to conflict and conflate the two different issues and then to accuse lawmakers who support this bill of being untruthful, is inaccurate."
Bowling added, "Studies published by the American Medical Association found states with medical marijuana programs experience nearly a 25 percent drop in opioid-related deaths. The opioid epidemic is a health crisis and medical cannabis bill can help combat it. The polls establish over 80 percent of Tennesseans want medical cannabis and we are elected to act on their behalf. I look forward to seeing this bill back before the committee this week and will continue to wholeheartedly support its passage."
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