Medical marijuana bill advances in Tenn. House

Friday, March 23, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 12

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to legalize medical marijuana is advancing in the state House.

The House Health Subcommittee approved the measure on a voice vote on Tuesday after similar measures had quickly failed in previous years.

Democratic Rep. Jeanne Richardson of Memphis, the bill's main sponsor, said the measure would create the toughest access standards among the states that have enacted similar laws.

In Richardson's words: "Medical cannabis is no longer a radical idea - this is not Cheech and Chong with a bong."

Republican Rep. Joey Hensley, a Hohenwald physician, raised concerns that doctors aren't trained on how to prescribe marijuana.

The companion bill has yet to be scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Government Operations Committee.